Bahay Kalipay Meditation Retreat 30 May 2014
Ven Rakkhita Samanera
Bahay Kalipay Retreat May 30th- June 2 2014 Gigi Amila Ria
Day 1 Session 1 29 May 2014 [ recording BK retreat 1 140530_001 ]
'Gigi' Student: 'Bhante, Could you describe about monastic vs secular practicing working in the worldly life.... carrying water, chopping wood and so on? Could you also clarify about: The Four Noble Truths, The Four Divine Dwellings The Ten Perfections and then the Seven Treasures?' these have been referred to in earlier discussion.
Bhante Rakhita Samanera: [ not all of these wide range of subjects are covered in the reply here, but here is an outline of their basic content: ] [ The Four Noble Truths, are First Truth- The Truth of suffering or chaos, disorder or disharmony Second Truth- The Causes of suffering or chaos, disorder or disharmony Thirdly Truth- The Ending of suffering or chaos, disorder or disharmony Fourthly Truth- The Path to the Ending of suffering or chaos, disorder or disharmony The Ten Perfections are as follows: Charity, Morality, Renunciation, Wisdom, Effort, Patience, Truthfulness,
Determination, Loving Kindness, Equanimity The Four Divine Dwellings are First - Loving Kindness [ Metta ] Second - Compassion [ Karuna ] Third - Joy at others' Success [ Mudita ] Fourth - Equanimity [ Upekkha ] The Seven Treasures are : 1. The treasure of conviction & faith [ saddha ] 2. The treasure of virtue
[ sila ]
3. The treasure of moral-conscience
[ hiri ]
4. The treasure of moral-concern
[ ottappa ]
5. The treasure of listening
[ suta ]
6. The treasure of generosity
[ cāgā ]
7. The treasure of discernment & wisdom
[ pañña ]
(from Anguttara Nikaya 7.6, 7.7) Bhante: 'So, the difference and the commonality between Secular and Monastic. This is often referred to in books and book titles as Dhamma in Daily Life or something like that, or Mindfulness of Washing up, or After the Ecstacy the Laundry, there are many things of this sort. There are many key teachers who are good on this topic, some because they are monks or nuns who teach lots of lay people... There are very popular ones, some from Theravada-style line, and some more from Mahayana-style line, like the Vietnamese Thich Nhat Hanh, or Master Cheng Yen the Taiwanese nun founder of Tzu Chi relief. You can find people like Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart. He comes from the Theravada line . It's because he's come from the Theravada line, trained in Thailand, in the forests, under deep jungle conditions - and then he's gone to New York State, back to his Mum's, and tried to live walking around in the brown robe in New York, area, that it didn't work, that he crunched up against it.. Not only the lifestyle difference, but the ideology...the difference between Asian minds and Western minds. Then out of that twenty five years of being in the West , trying to teach these South East Asian style teachings in America and the West, with people who think a lot, who are educated a lot, they question a lot, they haven't been brought up by parents who are Buddhist, they haven't got the historical back-stories, or they haven't lived around temples or seen them much. So Jack Kornfield then dis-robed from being a monk and walked in jeans and T-shirt, married, had a child , carried on teaching, and now has a centre 'Spirit Rock Centre' East of San Fransisco. There they teach programs and it's all basicly for lay people. So that's the style he's doing. He's friends with the monks still, and there are also monasteries in that area. He'll typically teach a mix people many of whom work in psychotherapy, school
teachers, or work in mental health care. So this is lay Dhamma. Both have their strengths and weaknesses - monastic life has it's strengths and it's weaknesses. The aim for a monk or nun is to reduce greed or desire until it is extinct, and they actually don't have any, and then anger and hate until you don't have any, and ego and conceit, arrogance and pride...until you don't have any. Buddha managed to do that. So, whether you're living and working in daily life or you are living in a monastery ... some poeple go into monasteries and they say 'I can criticize this and I can criticize that..' So if you make a comparison to a hospital, it's like going into a hospital and saying 'I don't see many healthy people!' In a monastery you'll find people who are working on it all. So you could then say well, then they should be in the world and working on it all.. Or put another way it's a bit like going into a music department of a school. If you go into one of those departments it's like a noise. In one practice room someone is trying to work out how to play, but they are not in tune, in another someone can't yet keep time.. . and in the corridor it's a noise. But at the end of their one year or two year training they all come out proficient, they all fit together nicely. So you can take yourself away and work on yourself in the trainings which are recommended, and out the other side of it begin to emerge these people who have reduced greed, hate and ego. Things like worldly service, because the ego, perhaps jealousies, should have been reduced to nothing so their compassion is very high, joy should be very high not miserable and depressed. I've been working with brain-damaged children and half the staff were depressed, so it's not much use to the kids.. the kids might not be depressed, but they get some who might be burnt out. Compassion burn-out sometimes. If a person doesn't have ego then there is more humility, they have more time for everyone else, they are not absorbed on their own problems.. or looking for ways to get up into power positions. If they have less desire then they aren't absorbed in fulfilling their own wishes and therefore they have more generosity. Classicly a monk may receive many things but they give a lot of things all the time. What they own can be hardly anything but they may be in charge of a whole lot of things, hundreds of houses for monks and nuns, robes and food and invitations and all kinds of things like that. Classicly monks just keep a very few objects. So it's a blend of the two things. Living in the lay life you can be bothered by the money, taxes, the need for cars, everything, housing , rent, the attachments of family - that are draining psychologically and demands and duties.. and just the support of the body. But once you give your dependence over to the monastic community so your lodgings, your food, your clothing, your medicines is basicly taken care of , so that your mind is free to devote to either practice or service. You can do service but you need to practice, or you'll be wasting your time by bringing a mind full of stuff. It's also not 'either - or'... when you take robes you can do so for a limited period of time. In Buddhism it's seen that any hour done doing it is beneficial. So if you do ten hours or seventy hours, a thousand hours, every hour of that is beneficial relatively. It is also gradated according to the discipline that you undertake. The entry level to undertake anything in the Buddha's discipline is to take the Five Precepts. The Five Precepts. So you won't sit there squashing and killing ants, slapping mosquitoes. You are killing every time. Not to kill anything at any time. Not to take anything that isn't given. We are usually in a communal area so it's
sensitive on taking things not given, then communal sharing is much easier. So then extreme carefulness about sensuality. So this mainly refers to not doing things like rape, adultery, pedophilia, sado-masochism.. anything which is misuse of sensuality. The there are four kinds of speech. One is not to knowingly misinform, The second is not to use false allegations, gossip or slander. The third is not to use harsh speech, like swear words and vulgar and coarse , shouting and arguing and The fourth one is not to engage in nonsense talking, just blah-blah-blah' talk. The fifth precept is not to use any kinds of drugs or alcohol. So undertaking these a person can go and stay in a temple and help out. That's the most basic minimum level. If anyone does kill they cannot say they are following the Buddha's instruction. It's also something that is undertaken - it's not like a commandment where God will punish you, you say i will undertake to keep this training understanding that if i do do any of these they have kamma consequences. Like for killing, either at any future time fear will inhabit the mind just as a kamma consequence ., such as the fear of revenge the fear of people coming to get you, their relatives, .. as i said, even with ants! Even if you kill one ant, as they die they spray out an emergency spray, other ants will come along and they will know, and they send the message back down to nest that 'back up this trail we are under attack' so they will send out army soldiers. They will bite and you receive pain. The rest of the ants are just carrying away waste matter, skin and food and so on. They just tidy up. So its the same if i go down to the village and I slap someone, or even killed someone. It wouldn't be very long. You wouldn't be able to sleep. for knowing that. So the peacefulness of mind, everything that is the second layer, of the Buddha's teaching, has to have this basis of morality. That also applies, then to stealing, if you steal things will be stolen from you. It can be in just one life, and this can be bad consequence. Even if you steal in Germany and then you travel to New Zealand. this thing will go with you... it's just energetic memory, stored in the Akashic records of the world.
Same with adultery.. all of the basic moralities - they carry harsh consequences, causing poor rebirth, negative rebirth, in physical health, mental agitation of the mind and lack of stability or lack of sleep. So it's setting up good kamma, associating with people who aren't going to be troublemakers, that aren't going to take you into those three things the greed and desire, the anger and hate.. the fear, and the jealous ego and conceit . There are people who will amplify and increase these in you. So you may get involved with people in porn, and they encourage , agitate and increase it in you, more and more. Or people who are gangsters, they like to fight, they want you to join in or stealing. Playboys, playgirls, online everything , gambling - that will take you to more agitation. This is just by association, just you stay close, just it wears off on you, the way they talk, where they go, the type of things and clothes to fit in, what they encourage in each other. People just naturally copy each other., remembering what others say and they say it back again. Everything , the movies you watch, books you read, places you go and activities you like doing. So 'Associating with the wise and not associating with the unwise' . This helps with the other things like avoiding alcohol and drugs. Then the consequences that arise from either doing it, or not doing it . Clarity of mind, more money and so on, or lack of clarity of mind or loss of memory, less money and loss of wealth, associating with people who are going to take you into more and more trouble , perhaps other addictive things. All of this helps, the temple training, which is meant to keep you in association with wholesome people. This is one of the reasons for the community living., to simplify life, simplify the basic requisites, sharing. - all of which are advantageous. Question [ Gigi student ] 'On killing - How about with food, when there is meat or fish, say if a person is a fisherman?' Bhante 'It is not recommended. From the beginning it is taught as a wrong kind of livelihood. It is encouraged on any one person to change to a harmless form of livelihood - say cultivating Spirulina, market Spirulina instead. However the world is the world and its unlikely that all people are ever all going to stop doing all those things. It is encouraged for people to share, to donate, to do charity. When you receive something that is already like dead meat, it's not considered bad kamma, but you shouldn't demand it - like when you go shopping or to a live-sea-food restaurant and you say 'I want the pink one' you are condemning it to die by your intention, you are choosing that it stops living. When I was in Penang in a temple a man came to prepare lunch mid-morning. There was an electric rice boiler with an electric cable going to a plug. There was a puddle of water on the work surface. Unknown to the man a rat had been gnawing at the cable in the night leaving the inner cables exposed. As he plugged it in 'ow!!' he got this big 'boom!' up his other arm from the electrified water. The boilers are quite powerful. He was preparing the lunch , so when lunchtime came and the rice was offered i was thinking 'Well, so, was I responsible for his electric shock? Did I electric shock him? ' So it's a little like this, where you are not directly responsible. So as much as possible and within reason you do not kill and you don't encourage - and you encourage others to
not kill. The Wrong Livelihoods include these : livelihood of ....i was going to say livestock, but trading in living things, there's a big spectrum here, it includes things like slavery, but animal, cattle, all the farming things which involves living creatures . Tendency is that as you go along the path you start to associate with vegetarian people . But in the initial stages, the Buddha realised that for most people, most regular people in that fishing village, or that village over there , it was going to alienate them. He didn't want the monks to be too isolated, he wanted them to be able to go in and do the teaching. If it's a reasonable teaching people don't mind. If we were to go into this nearby village and say we want everyone in this village to eat raw food from now on ..it's just not going to happen. But they could gradually start to fine-tune what they are doing. The first house I visit here the husband does cockerel-fighting , while he's there they start drinking, there may be a fight, and then some gambling... So given all that we have to go step by step., after a while of associating. If you see him now his mood has really changed and he likes the offering of charity food in the morning and the blessing.. but he may be wishing to win the cock-fight prize-money during the blessing! As Ajahn Brahm said 'it's like a speeding train. You have to slow it down gradually, you can't just say 'Stop!' If they wanted to come and visit, to see where their friend is now working, or further on spend a full moon day here, or one afternoon, or one hour, maybe they'd like to offer here, and they can see the place , why not? But that's happened very gradually, and that is typical of the way that the Buddha taught. He would also be able to sense who was ripe, who is ready, when. Some people are just not nearly ripe. So we shouldn't just waste our time . Animals also do have their own kamma. People doing mass killing can be reborn in an animal realm, or even worse realms and worse realms and worse realms. Animal realm is seen to be very unpleasant and difficult to escape from for the animals them selves. Question [ Gigi student ] 'Like Hitler...?' Bhante 'Well, he wouldn't be reborn in the animal realm directly, I would say. He would be born on a much lower realm than that, where there's much more pain. Animals have some relatively pleasant times.
Question [Maija Yoga teacher] ' I'd like to ask - how would you know how unpleasant animal life is? Many people say I wish I would be a cat, or I wish I would be a dog.. or are they just flying away?' Bhante ' You can see it. A female dog on the beach there... they are raped, you know... there are so many unpleasant things are going on with them, and it is relentless too. It's nonstopping. They are not able to escape out of it... the looking after the young, there's no time for reflection, it's only fight, flight, survive, eat, sleep and then die. Sometimes they seem to be having a pleasant moment, time to time . But ultimately they are powerless to protect themselves against somethings. Some dolphins seem to be having fun in many ways but all the animals are bound by the reproductive cycle whereas some humans are able to transcend that, many don't. That is one binding thing. Question [ Gigi student ] 'So that means it would be harder for an animal to go up the scale?'
Bhante ' Yes. Very hard. Exactly. That's partly it, that their reactions are almost totally automatic. With some humans it's automatic but some humans they have the ability to wait and consider and then to act. To not act from fear, nor ignorance, not act from hate not act from desire. They have the chance to reconsider. Whereas with some animals they may seem quite calm but then the stimulus comes and 'clap' they just react. To attack or run away or to have sex, without any ability to reconsider or consider the meaning of it, or benefit of it . Many animals and insects may not have the opportunity to even remember lessons. Ants don't remember anything... every single ant has to learn it all over again - the same as the ants that were with the dinosaurs. But we are able to communicate and pass on knowledge . This knowledge I'm passing on is mainly 2550 years old., so that's one key. Someone like Hitler - it's also a finite span in that painful place. People such as him do actions under a mood, and a belief, and an understanding, in a period of time. Prior to that Hitler was doing painting and drawing... there's no bad kamma in that. But then associating with certain people , taking on certain views and then getting into a certain position and then authorising something. It's like if somebody came here and said 'Ok, We are going to extinguish all the termites here', they will do something to achieve that, then there will be a kamma for a certain period of time and then it will wear off. And that rising and falling can repeat or it can be abandoned , it can be corrected. It's like someone in a prison , they can reflect on what they have done and get out of the habit , they can correct what they were thinking. Some other people might decide on an economic policy for a country, believing they are right, adamant, and yet it all goes wrong badly, people get into distress, poverty, there's
riots... Then after twenty years they realise and reflect 'We were wrong...we made a mistake, we thought it was going to go better, but...it didn't it all went wrong'. So - period of time, but you can't escape the consequence. You can't just say 'We didn't know' , it's not good enough, it doesn't work like that. If you hurt people , if you cause harm, even if you are thinking to do good, the consequence of that harm comes back. Soldiers going into Vietnam with a flame thrower , then would say 'but we thought we were fighting for freedom, for democracy ...' but you can't tell that to the children who they burnt up ,or the one who says 'yes, my grandmother was in bed when you threw a handgrenade in there'. So that comes out directly to each one person. Question [Maija, Yoga teacher] ' What about in the everyday life? To help someone who is sick, I want to do a favour to help him maybe this thing doesn't help him or her. This thing might cause them to suffer, is that going to bring me bad kamma? If I did it with my best intentions?' Bhante: ' It is why we have to be very careful. Hitler did that. Hitler had his best intentions he thought he was going to be helping the entire German people, to benefit them all. Anyone who technically is deluded. So we have to be very careful about what we view is right. Why also we have to be very careful when working on behalf of other people's kamma. One of the reasons why the Buddha recommended working internally, on something that is very difficult to do anything wrong with. - in meditation. You only get it back internally, like when you concentrate on the breathing or you work to uproot your own anger, there's very limited damage that can happen... but when you work on other people.... There was a girl meditator at Chiang Mai telling me about her ex-boyfriend's work that, still now, they were using drilling into the top of the skull to relieve head pains! into peoples brains..! Trepanation, a somewhat mediaeval thing - but he was still doing it. So you can believe you are doing something good for people but you don't really necessarily know. You can tell yourself you are experimenting on mice 'for the common good' but you don't really know what you put the mice through, or the monkeys, or you make dogs smoke cigarettes. You think you are allowed to do it. By kamma you are not. That is why it is important to listen to these teachings and to get aware, to take into consideration these things, because whether we like it or not we get it. Even there was one teaching a King Milinder, asked a monk 'If someone doesn't know it's wrong, and another does know it's wrong yet both do that act.. which one receives the worst kamma consequence? Actually the answer to it surprised me - it was that the one who doesn't know - because they'll do it with greater strength . The example he gave - it's like a red hot iron ball and a one made of ice. If you didn't know it was red hot how would you pick it up? Quite quickly and with a strong grip. But the one who knew it was red hot , they would pick it up very carefully or with something., but they still picked it up. So a lawyer who knows something is wrong but he's still going to find a way to do it. To trick the people and still get paid or something. He'd pick that up very carefully. But the one who was unaware something was wrong would say ' my clients in the right' and actually does something that puts the wrong person in prison. He felt he was sure and picked it up with much more force and therefore it comes up 'boom'. Question [ Gigi student ]:
'Is there a possibility that since you did not know it caused harm to the other person that somewhere along the line , in future lives or similar you can correct that?' Bhante: 'Yes, the consequence will come back so it depends how you respond to the consequence. Somebody might attack me now .. nowadays I might be able to say, 'ok, fair enough, this is returning on me' but I might not see the original cause. This law is quite perfect. It happened once when i was a layman I wasn't paid 40,000 US$ and I was enraged and enraged, I was going to go and find this guy. Then the monks pointed out , 'Consider have you ever done anything like that?' I said "No' then, 'Oh, well, actually, wait a moment..' and I remembered an incident I won't detail involving shady underworld characters and some events that would have caused some financial imbalances. That at the time seemed reckless and gung-ho student pranksmanship. But even though it was a prank under influence and I hadn't liked financial institutions somebody carried for that. That's a real value. So my real value when I was given it also got taken from me. I hadn't thought about that, that it might come back as kamma, and this is just one life . We may have done things benevolent in the past , then 'wow' someone just gives you a car, someone just gives you a house.. you think 'wow' perhaps because you can't remember what you did. In the same way some things can get taken from you, and that's been done by you before. We can't say where we've been in the past, can't necessarily remember. Question [ Gigi student ] Does it go that every lifetime you get to forget the previous lifetime? Bhante: 'Mostly. I've got a recording of a young Sri Lankan boy, for example, who was three years old , he starts chanting more chanting than there is in this chantbook here. Dhammaruwan his name. I can't do it. Three years old, with a beautiful tune. And the monks said how are you doing this? And he said 'I was with monks who came from India to Sri Lanka.' Now he's about my age or older. He talked about recalling this, and lives that happened after that life, that were less fortunate he said.He said he didn't want to talk about those lives. But of the life with the monks travelling, they had together memorised the equivalent of the Buddhist Bible, except it's eleven times longer than the Bible. They had split it up between them to memorise. So, most of us can't do it. You can do execises like some of the ones we'll do which enable you to remember them. It's the basic stilling of the mind, through which basic past life recall can happen. Some monks develop it, the Buddha developed it to it's perfection. It can be done, it takes a lot of work. It's like saying I'm interested in astronomy. Yes, but you've still got to save up to buy the telescope, and to learn how to use it. It's a repetitive, repetitive work. Like learning a musical instrument. Like saying 'I just want to be Grade 8 piano but it's a lot of scales, a lot of practice and a lot of learning something. The Buddha recommended monks to learn how to do it. It can help you to understand the pain in your life and more or less how these kind of things are working. But most people can't recall, yet they are still inheriting their actions, those results are still surfacing - in terms of everything; in terms of health, wealth, knowledge, understanding, temperament, likes and dislikes, weaknesses and strengths, pain and
pleasure, luck and bad luck,. Mixtures of light kamma and dark kamma also arise , here you've done something very beneficial and it's returning , and those immoral actions which are returning. So you are usually getting a multi-coloured light and dark mixture all the time resurfacing. Then there is Nibbanic kamma which is neither dark nor light nor multi-coloured, it's a different kind of kamma. Usually peoples kamma is negative and positive or this mixture of negative and positive.
FORTY KINDS OF MEDITATION The Forty kinds of meditation; I'd just like to introduce you about that. There are Forty kinds of meditation which are for tranquility. You can consider them to be four rows of ten. These are all tranquility meditations, and then there is Insight meditations.
Insight = seeing into. Passana means to see and vi means into. Vipassana. It means seeing into the causes and effects. When you have an event, up comes the result, it is to be able to look at the footstep which went before it , which caused it to be able to get there. Thus, what the next footstep will be , and the next., according to life events. These footholds, footsteps are called pada. Vipassana is about the path to Nibbāna, which means 'not burning'. [ ni = not, bāna=burning, hot] Conditions lead to conditions, which lead to other conditions, which lead on to other conditions.... Here we are setting up the conditions internally in the mind that will gradually cause this insight which is the attainment of Nibbāna. This starts, primarily with this moral purity of conduct, so there is no questioning in the mind, there is no worries, no doubts - you are not sitting there anxious because you had an affair and you are worried that their husband or their wife is going to come round. Not that agitation or if I'd been avoiding my taxes , you are worried looking over your shoulder. Basicly to have this first level of purity. When you see the pagoda or cetiya form, one way of subdividing its pyramid is into these three layers. The first layer is this ' MORALITY'. Clear conscience and clear actions of Body & Speech - in terms of Livelihood, Speech and Action. If you were recently doing prostitution or slavery , sex slavery, child slavery, animal selling, meat selling, weapons trading, poison trading,.... there is no way you are going to be able to meditate immediately. Most of your speech you would constantly be commiting wrong speech 'Yes, Sir, we'll send a truck with two hundred cattle...[to be killed]' and so on. Anything which is involving Killing, if you are a gangster and you are organising stealing, even if it's corporate stealing , banking may be stealing in countries from many people, or sponsoring it. It's all Wrong Livelihood. Or you are a rapist of any kind , or pedophile of any kind, it's all Wrong Livelihood or Lifestyle. Then Drug Dealing & Alcohol selling. So, Right Livelihood has to be there, and then Right Speech. Not of the Four kinds of speech listed above earlier. Then Actions. So your actions are all blameless. This is the First layer which is the MORALITY layer - SILA This is always stressed. You can also put before this something called Dāna which is charitable giving, relating to generosity towards others. Question - [ Maija ] Does that go underneath? It sometimes goes before, as in Dāna - Sīla - then Bhāvanā
[ Charity - Morality - Cultivation ] In the pagoda structure we are building [the Eightfold Path ] it doesn't. What you often find is when the Buddha taught , as he sat down to teach, it would start with an act of Dāna. Alike this morning, where we would just go with the empty bowl and thus something that they were not previously going to do they end up doing - a kind act. This a heart opening, heart softening thing that happens if you provoke it. So the monk appearing with the empty bowl provokes the situation that wouldn't otherwise have arisen, people would have just been tidying up, kicking the dog and moving around and now they are provoked into doing something. When the structure is shown as in this pagoda form the first layer is called MORALITY Three Factors [ lifestyle, speech, actions ] The next layer is called SAMADHI [meditation or calm & concentration] Three Factors [ concentration, effort/energy, mindfulness ] The next is called PAÑÑA [ wisdom ] Two Factors [ aim/intention, view ] There are Eight Factors. Any moment when the eight factors are there is building stable mind states, mindmoments. Moments that are leading to other moments that are leading to... and so on. While that is going on the Path is getting closer to arising - while it is not, the Path is getting further away. Thus the mind will be getting more agitated, more nervous, more doubtful, more angry, more desirous. By taking on the Right Livelihood, using the Right kind of Speech, making the Right kind of Actions, the Concentration and Calm can start to be built up, the Right kind of Efforts are there, and Mindfulness is increasing. Then the Wisdom group. This one is built up from two kinds, two factors, of which Sammā Sankappa, meaning 'Right Intention' is one. I quite like to use the term 'Aim'. Intent and aim. Right Aim. And then 'Views' are very important things . Sammā Ditthi. A switch from a View which is taking people into deep distress and anger to one where the mind is released and becomes clear ... it can be the difference between Heaven and Hell. Associating with people, like you were saying about Hitler, it was just through association. There they had all got together and said 'Yes, really!, you are right...let's destroy them!' to each other and start convincing each other that something is real, encouraging and building each other up. Attaching onto these Views, which are driving them into all kinds of bad consequences , when they thought they were going to have a thousand year long reign of wonder and fame and liberation, when, no, more than a thousand years of Hell as a consequence. This is called
THE EIGHTFOLD PATH these eight Factors have to be there When you see the beautiful pagodas, cetiyas, stupas, this is one of the representative interpretations of the form's divisions. Having this stable basis.Stable morality, Stable concentration, Stable intention and Stable views. It leads us back into the present moment, it is not delayed in time . One of the characteristics of the Teaching is it is not delayed in time , you are not working for something solely on the basis of something you will get after death. It is good to be aware that there will always be results in the future but the way the mindfulness works and the concentration works tends to get you to return from the past and from the future, to get you to look on and examine the present moment. This is different than if you go into some kinds of Analysis, Freudian Analysis for example where they might say to you ' So, tell me about your childhood....' you are immediately seperating away ,'Well, I was this...' 'I was that...' and that is a type of concentration. Which is considered Wrong Concentration., in terms of the Eightfold Path and Nibbﾄ］a. That's just one - I'm not trying to pick on Freud. So, Concentrations. There are different types. One is aimed only at bringing calm. Samatha. When we recall the Buddha's qualities , there it says he totally calmed all evil in his mind. During the one night where he sat under the Bodhi tree and he defeated it all, and reached total enlightenment , one of the verbs used for how he calmed all illusions and unwholesome forces that welled up against him is this verb 'samathassa' . It means to totally calm. He was sitting and these terrifying visions would arise in his mind, absolutely realistic, invading his mind and rampantly attacking. He managed to do this terribly hard thing to do, to calm down all and transform all.,seeing it as an illusion and make his teaching fully realized. So there are at least Forty of these calming meditation types. It means Forty types of objects. In your minds eye you can picture a candle, picture a waterfall, a Saint, you can picture an Angel, you can picture a light, many, many things. So this is a type of meditation where you picture something in your mind and you keep it there and keep it there. You have a subject suspended and maintained in your mind using your strong will-power. This gives rise to calm, while you hold the object... but then the phones goes and you stop concentrating, someone says 'I've seen your boyfriend out with a girl downtown and 'voomph'. Because you change your object and drop the object the conditions stop. It's only working while you have the object there. An example of Samatha meditation, this morning when we went out to walk by the ocean at sunrise we did Metta , Loving Kindness meditation. When you radiate Loving kindness, and you think loving kindness, you wish loving kindness that is Metta.
The Chant of Metta by Imee Ooi
[ based on Metta meditations Vimutti Magga & Visuddhi Magga] So this is first calming the mind, then taking a variety of objects but you always start with your self, and then turn it out towards others.
The Chant of Metta Text Aham avero homi May I be free from enmity and danger * [ enmity is ill-will or angry hatred ] abyapajjho homi May I be free from mental suffering anigha homi May I be free from physical suffering sukhi - attanam pariharami May I take care of myself happily
[ * so this valuable point that you should build it up and let it spill over to everyone else, starting with those close to you] Mama matapitu May my parents [ * avoiding the trap of blame and anger about past ] acariya ca natimitta ca teacher relatives and friends [ * any teachers down the past, this gratitude is extremely important ] [ starting with easypeople to love and moving only gradually to difficult ones] sabrahma - carino ca fellow Dhamma farers [ all those we are living with and practicing with ] avera hontu be free from enmity and danger abyapajjha hontu be free from mental suffering anigha hontu be free from physical suffering
sukhi - attanam pariharantu may they take care of themselves happily
Imasmim arame sabbe yogino May all meditators in this compound avera hontu be free from enmity and danger abyapajjha hontu be free from mental suffering anigha hontu be free from physical suffering sukhi - attanam pariharantu May they take care of themselves happily Imasmim arame sabbe bhikkhu May all monks in this compound samanera ca novice monks upasaka - upasikaya ca laymen and laywomen disciples avera hontu be free from enmity and danger [ classicly this may be done several times a day, with the community radiating love to all each other and around early dawn and evening ] abyapajjha hontu be free from mental suffering anigha hontu be free from physical suffering sukhi - attanam pariharantu May they take care of themselves happily Amhakam catupaccaya - dayaka May our donors of the four supports: clothing, food, medicine and lodging avera hontu be free from enmity and danger abyapajjha hontu be free from mental suffering anigha hontu be free from physical suffering
sukhi - attanam pariharantu May they take care of themselves happily Amhakam arakkha devata May our guardian devas Ismasmim vihare in this monastery Ismasmim avase in this dwelling Ismasmim arame in this compound arakkha devata May the guardian devas avera hontu be free from enmity and danger abyapajjha hontu be free from mental suffering anigha hontu be free from physical suffering sukhi - attanam pariharantu may they take care of themselves happily Sabbe satta May all beings sabbe pana all breathing things sabbe bhutta all creatures sabbe puggala all individuals (all beings) sabbe attabhava - pariyapanna all personalities (all beings with mind and body) sabbe itthoyo may all females sabbe purisa all males sabbe ariya all noble ones (saints) sabbe anariya all worldlings (those yet to attain sainthood) sabbe deva
all devas (deities) sabbe manussa all humans sabbe vinipatika all those in the four woeful planes avera hontu be free from enmity and dangers abyapajjha hontu be free from mental suffering anigha hontu be free from physical suffering sukhi - attanam pariharantu may they take care of themselves happily Dukkha muccantu May all being be free from suffering Yattha-laddha-sampattito mavigacchantu May whatever they have gained not be lost Kammassaka All beings are owners of their own Kamma Purathimaya disaya in the eastern direction pacchimaya disaya in the western direction uttara disaya in the northern direction dakkhinaya disaya in the southern direction purathimaya anudisaya in the southeast direction pacchimaya anudisaya in the northwest direction uttara anudisaya in the northeast direction dakkhinaya anudisaya in the southwest direction hetthimaya disaya in the direction below uparimaya disaya in the direction above
Sabbe satta May all beings sabbe pana all breathing things sabbe bhutta all creatures sabbe puggala all individuals (all beings) sabbe attabhava - pariyapanna all personalities (all beings with mind and body) sabbe itthoyo may all females sabbe purisa all males sabbe ariya all noble ones (saints) sabbe anariya (those yet to attain sainthood) sabbe deva all devas (deities) sabbe manussa all humans sabbe vinipatika all those in the 4 woeful planes avera hontu be free from enmity and dangers abyapajjha hontu be free from mental suffering anigha hontu be free from physical suffering sukhi - attanam pariharantu may they take care of themselves happily Dukkha muccantu May all beings be free from suffering Yattha-laddha-sampattito mavigacchantu May whatever they have gained not be lost Kammassaka
All beings are owners of their own kamma Uddham yava bhavagga ca As far as the highest plane of existence adho yava aviccito to as far down as the lowest plane samanta cakkavalesu in the entire universe ye satta pathavicara whatever beings that move on earth abyapajjha nivera ca may they are free of mental suffering and enmity nidukkha ca nupaddava and from physical suffering and danger Uddham yava bhavagga ca As far as the highest plane of existence adho yava aviccito to as far down as the lowest plane samanta cakkavalesu in the entire universe ye satta udakecara whatever beings that move on water abyapajjha nivera ca may they are free of mental suffering and enmity nidukkha ca nupaddava and from physical suffering and danger Uddham yava bhavagga ca As far as the highest plane of existence adho yava aviccito to as far down as the lowest plane samanta cakkavalesu in the entire universe ye satta akasecara whatever beings that move in air abyapajjha nivera ca may they are free of mental suffering and enmity nidukkha ca nupaddava and from physical suffering and danger.
The list includes everyone. People who donated a cushion or a mat, right down to people who are in a hungry ghost realm having spent their lives as a butcher chopping heads off of chickens or such-like. They hadn't thought about their after-life and they got into this realm, a hungry state where they can't return. lost in this indebted state . They can't get out. You turn your mind to them out of compassion. Having been fortunate you donate energy or share it- it's like a candle , you don't get any less light for having donated use of your flame that other's might light up their life. It's up into the Angelic deva realms, across the Human realms, down into the deep depths of suffering beings. This is Loving Kindness [ Metta ] one of the Forty Samathas. There is also Karuna which is Compassion , when you start to turn your mind towards the suffering of others , compassion starts to arise. It's not quite the same. Loving kindness is like friendliness, but when you turn to people who have brain damage, who've got limbs missing, who are in disease or are in poverty, the thing that starts to arise up is compassion. When you start to see animals in pain, anything in pain, naturally this wish to help and to do something to help them is this. So this is Karuna. Then Mudita is the opposite of jealousy, it is happiness at other people succeeding. When you see that people have got something good has come to them through their good efforts, through their good kamma, you celebrate and you applaud. Thus it prevents a jealousy arising. Then Upekkha which is equanimity. It is the strongest of all the four, the most stable one. Whereas if you have a lot of Karuna a lot of compassion you can get depressed easily and up and down. You can get over-swamped by too much looking into others poverty, or pain. Having a stable relationship between these four is very important . If, for example, you only just increase Metta ...''May I be happy, may I be happy, May I be happy, may I be happy, May I be happy, may I be happy!!...and my friends!! i know .. lets have ...A PARTY...' So you just go on like that 'yeah, yeah, yeah!' so you buy yourself more and more nice clothes, more things, and it can decay towards self-indulgence. It can decay towards lust. It can turn from , say, love towards all beings, towards romance, towards a Valentine Day, to dating, and then you're in love , and soon its turned into lust, never mind all beings any more. So that's the way that metta which starts off as something very pure can distort. Another way it can distort is towards 'My Group'. In that you send love in the form a big meal and invite everyone round... then it's 'Who are you? You haven't got an invitation...' You keep out people who aren't a part of your In-Group. Some religions are like that. So you have a defined circle, and send all the love into mine, my group. Because the ego is still there. So the original pure love decays through ego. First thing when I wake up I turn on that chant and walk to the ocean area in the dark, before dawn. Very first thing your mind is all fuzzy bouncing around, and metta starts to direct it and reminds you to turn the mind out and to consider others. Also to remind you to wish yourself good , otherwise you may just be grumpy and negative. It trains the mind . The systematic nature of it takes away the way the mind is normally bothered only about it's own affairs , it's own life, it's own self , it's own things - it's inward turned. It's moods are up and down. The systematic nature of the metta directing helps to iron that out and start to consider , yes, your own group , but then other groups beyond. This way
it tidies up the mind and heart and aligns them so the heart opens well and opens towards metta. If you do it enough. This version is twenty five minutes long, it goes through it three times. By the time you are half way through the second one you are close to generating Metta. It takes time to generate metta, it's not natural for people and it's a relatively weak state of mind. The other three are much stronger. When you have compassion, people will rush to disaster zones, like Batug and Leyte after the Typhoon hit Philippines, it's a very, very strong emotion. Metta tends to be more easily put off track, so it needs to be reinforced by gifts of food and giving and kind words. If you have a sister or a brother you always argue with to make the actions of actual giving is a silent way of causing metta and good thing to do. Metta can easily turn into a selfish thing. and so it needs to be opened and modulated against with compassion. Metta is also a bit of a fluffy candy-floss world if you are not careful. The power of the mind gets stronger when it includes Karuna. You can get people who have a great job, they dress well, they love themselves, they are popular, they are confident... but actually there is nothing about them, they have never even turned their minds to the poor and suffering people of the world. They have a party, they have a boulevarde, they have a place in Hollywood, but never considered others real problems. They are less powerful because of it - less powerful and less pure. But a politician who really understands people, could really do some good, if they are not corrupt. So, metta and karuna modulate each other. If you only have karuna you may not have enough metta, not joyful enough, so concerned over everyone else that you don't have enough self-respect and love. Perhaps not having that ability to go to your favourite cafe, relax and read a book and just have your own time. So worn out from caring for other people. For perfection to arise we need a blance of these four, that they actually increase in depth and range. This way we can include more people, you can include more depth to their suffering. You may fall in love with someone, but as soon as you see they have a depressed mood , or they get PMT then you don't love them any more. So it's the danger of shallowness - the superficialness. So this is to get increasing range, increasing power. Mudita [ Sympathetic joy] stops jealousy arising, mainly but it's a vital thing to be able to love other peoples' success. It's not about 'me getting more powerful' , it's about also seeing that people of the past, in history were fantasticly good, and we applaud them. Look at someone like Abraham Lincoln and say 'well done! You managed to do a difficult thing in a difficult time' or William Wilberforce, both against slavery. Or there's a singer, incredibly attractive and talented, so, 'well done, that wasn't easy, you went from the slums to a millionaire ...' You are not always aloof, with a miserly, envious nature. Then Uppekkha is the one that stabilises, you can't have enough Uppekkha, enough Equanimity. It is not cold, it is not indifference., it is just very stable. It can easily expand to include loving kindness. Thus you could go into a situation where there is an earthquake with a mind filled with great equanimity, expanded to include compassion but it is so stable that you can go in and effectively deal with lots of people who are in pain without problem. If you only have compassion you might just cry, you can't do much because you are so overwhelmed with too much empathy , so much feeling and so on. Upekkha is also closely allied to wisdom. Question About Mudita... ? Bhante: 'Sympathetic joy, joy at others' success. So it's got this strong emotion of delight. You
win a place in a lovely health centre and your friends say 'Excellent! I'm really happy for you!' your enemies just go 'Harumph!' that's mudita with your friends heart and mind. Then to have mudita always for good things going on..let's see, actually you see it used a lot in the expression 'Sadhu!' when the people have offered food into the bowl, or i do a blessing. So they say 'Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu!' Sadhu means the mudita feeling, like 'Congratulations!' 'Excellent, well done!' So these are called the Four Divine Dwellings, [ Brahma Vihāras ] If you only practiced these , and the body died of it's natural life-span your mind stream becomes reborn in the Angelic or deva realm for a duration. Angelic deva beings may be beings who have developed these in the past. That heavenly existence would be for a duration only though. If you did those meditations for a ten year period then died you would yield that. But that beneficial merit would also wear out after a span of time. It's a kind of Bliss level as well. Because Metta , Mudita they have this nature of ... well, its like music. When you listen to music it sends you in a very beautiful way, if you just sat here and just only did these meditations love to birds and animals .. seeing the whole island and wishing them love in every direction... you would just sit here and you would be in bliss. People would come up and ask others what you were doing but you would just be beaming, absorbed in sending love to your parents or others, you would be absorbed. It's called jhāna. There are initially four jhānas. If there is still some thinking going on , like when you do metta meditation, and you have a sense of joy, but its still quite fizzy, with goosebumps, ecstatic state, rapture, blissed out, so that level is called a lower angelic realm. If you keep doing it and it gets deeper, especially if it includes mudita and uppekha it goes inwards to these, it goes deeper inwards towards the heart. Happiness starts to arise which is still a little wavy. Like a movie with highs and lows our meditation has emotional ups and downs, then when we gain these states especially with uppekkha we gain the stiller states, where it's not wavy any more. Just calm and very stable., penetrating and deep. Then this is the fourth of the jhānas. First jhāna fizzy with joy. Second still wavy with less or no thinking, sustained. Third very, very still. Fourth totally still but still with an object that you may become unified with at will. But... you stop to practice and disturbances may still come back.
Let's look at the first Ten Samatha types of the Forty. The first row of ten is organized into : Four - [ Material type sphere objects ] Rupa Kasinas - 1,Earth, 2,Water, 3,Fire, 4,Air Four - [ non-Material type sphere objects ] Arupa Kasinas - 5,Red, 6,Yellow, 7,Blue, 8a,White plus an extra one actually here - 8b, Light Kasina Two - [ without central sphere object ] 9, Space all around
[ Awareness of awareness ]10, The six sensory awarenesses If you are looking at external objects, this person over here, that person over there, the sounds around, the temperature, some music... if i put on music someone likes it someone doesn't like it.. so, while we are dependent on external factors , like even a candle, 'it makes us calm' but perhaps the candle blows out? Their nature will set up unstable nature in us, our peace is fragile. By making peace with an object that we internally create and cause , this is one of the ways you can stabilise the mind, regardless of what's happening outside. So you can hold an object in your mind. One of the important things of these kind of meditations to understand is that objects like these are visualised in the mind, an aid to doing that commonly used is this. The main central object is anchored to the horizon. With the main points, North, East, South and West marked on a great circle that encompasses the sitter. If you are sitting facing sun rise direction that is East.
This gives the impression of the sphere visualised as stable, not just 'floating above the floor' 'in front of a wooden beam' and so on. The N and Z points are Nadir and Zenith. You anchor to the centre of the sphere, adding the form as you can. Many of the general protective regular monk chants include this compass-point model [ eg, Mangala Gﾄ》ha, JinaPanjara -The Buddha's Fortress, Jaya Paritta] often with enlightened famous monks at the cardinal and intermediate points. Other meditations of the Forty also use this compass-grid structure. Some of the ways to reflect on the Buddha [ Buddha-nu-sati ] and Sangha [ Sangha-nu-
sati] use the grid with the Buddha sitting in the centre, this disciple to the East, another one to South East, Sariputta to the South, Ānanda to the West, Moggalāna to the North .. and so on. Gradually building up a complex array of imagery .
Kasinas Basicly the first meditation object is the Earth Kasina or sphere, it is a sphere about arms distance and about the size of a very large grapefruit. As if it were made of clay. A smooth texture, salmon pink, with warm or cool areas, just as you would find a real solid clay sphere. Just before you add the sphere take in the environment. Look around and 'mark' objects to help it be easier to recall the panorama - as if your eyelids were made clear and you could still see all the view when the eyelids come down. This can be the backdrop for your sphere. It's ambitious but a good challenge. You can also try with the eyelids slightly open and visualise the sphere yet you are really seeing some of the room.
Guide for an Earth Kasina All the first ten are called 'Kasina'. Kasina in the Pāli language means 'whole' a completeness. Counting. It may help you to maintain your concentration by using counting. For example ' Earth one, earth two, earth three... ' and so on. Earth as in clay , not the planet. Then you hold the sphere in your mind having got your reference points and having got your centre point you visualise a sphere and then you keep it there. Sometimes you get a flicker for a moment and then you can't hold it. So to keep your
mind applied you can do this thing of counting. ' Earth one, earth two, earth three... ' I do it going up to fifty and then begin again. Because you are doing about a minutes worth of non-stop the same object. Ordinarily we are thinking about many objects.. the mp3 player, the kitchen, the glasses, my diary, my shoes, .. the mind keeps changing it's object, it's like a conveyor belt, nonstop, and it does that all the time. We think of places, people , objects, places, people , objects, places, people , objects... So we are blocking that stream from being able to get in by keeping this in our mind. Then by using the strong will-power we are repeatedly taking the same object over and over again. It's very hard and very unatural for the mind to do this. The mind rebels and kicks and can't do it... and it's just very hard to do. The effort to try is the beginning. 1.08 [ -26.13 ] Question [ Maija ] What is the difference between Rupa & Arupa again please? Bhante: 'These first four Earth Kasina, Water Kasina, Fire Kasina & Air Kasina are primarily material. The colour kasinas are non material. When you concentrate on a material object like in a fantasy, a fantasy about getting a car, or a fantasy about building a house, your object in your mind is a material thing. Similarly when you think about 'things made of earth' your mind goes to the imagination and reacts saying 'yes, yes, I know what you are talking about..'You are thinking of solid things, they are concepts but they are concepts of solid things. So the mind works just like that. You work with that nature saying internally ' reach and touch and scratch that sphere.' Responding like as if it is really there., the brain and the mind responds like that. If I go shopping for sandwiches , the mind works with that image as if it's a real thing, making your mouth water. So you are tapping into that part of the conceptualising. MATERIAL concepts. So you are just using it in a funny kind of way, because you are suspending it... both in space, and in time. There's no way a water sphere would be able to do that... would be able to stay there in the air. So you are puzzling the mind in a way. You are also making it work hard and stay. It's cancelling out the reactions of the mind, that makes it fascinated and hypnotised and puzzled by this object. That is what you are aiming to do. Personally I don't use Air Kasina currently in my teaching, but you can try. It's not visible and it is known more by sensation, say touch.. which makes it very similar to Anapana-sati within the nose. There the sense of air is known by its touch on the skin inside the nose. When a material object [Rupa kasina] is there like Fire kasina you would be strongly effected ... just as you would a roaring fire in front of you. It's physical presence does much. With a non-material object [Arupa] you start with something that is more like a hologram. It is like a laser effect hovering in the air. But it is still anchored to the cardinal positions, with the sphere the same size as before.
When you concentrate on a material object the mind reacts excitedly in a certain kind of way. But now it is a different type of object [Arupa], it effectively has the transparent, translucent quality of a rainbow. If somebody was telling you of a house or a place and describing that, using material concepts saying ' they have deep turquoise, shiny, spa baths there, you can have the keys for six months, ' your mind would get excited in a certain kind of way. But if somebody said ' There's a rainbow over there ' you'd get excited in a different kind of way because you can't capture that thing, you can't own it. So it's the same with the Arupa objects. It's the same with the nature of the non-material object angels or devas. Practicioners get reborn in that realm. They are more able to do this concentration on non-material objects...therefore they are more aloof, more above getting excited by material things. Once you can get the mind to be satisfied on only looking at these very, very etheral, immaterial objects you are also less attached. These realms are more pure, less vibration and therefore they last much, much longer. Question - student Gigi ' So how long do you look at the object?' Bhante: ' Well, there is two ways I would like to do this during this retreat. One way is concentrating on Kasinas in combination with contemplating The Four Noble Truths. For example, what we would do is a sequence, a series of meditations. Each one would be around two minutes. So we would do concentration on an Earth Kasina. [@ 2 minutes ] Then, Contemplating The First Noble Truth - Disharmony, chaos, disorder... [ this means you've stilled and steadied the mind a bit... and then you consider suffering's nature ] There are many kinds of disorder and distress , disturbance and you look into it... it's your knee injury, it's living with your mum, it's the weather, it's being here, or it's the visa, .. anything which is these uninvited disturbances of human life, which makes life oppressed, which makes life struggling, just that they do exist - personally or universally. A lot of people run around like these things don't exist.. they just don't look at it. Just that you turn and acknowledge it 'this back has been bothering me ALL MONTH...' fact... ' I actually have mosquito bites..' anything where you open your mind to it, seeing it as it is., taking it into awareness directly... and face it without fear. [ and that may take about 2 minutes ] And then we draw. We draw using art.. to explore that. Any images and line, words, colours.. crayon, pastel, cut-out magazines that helps bring something onto the paper. Without judgement or trying to impress or imitate. [ and that may take about 5 minutes ] [ Because it is hard and boring for the mind. You have to get the mind into doing it. It's like piano or guitar scales. You have to do them repeatedly and repeatedly.. then your fingers ache. It;s the same with the mind repeating kasina sphere visualising., it's 'fingers' ache and it's boring for it. That's in the nature of the training for it ]
Then we'd do Water Kasina. Second Noble Truth is the Causes of Disharmony Going through in this way is something I devised and then found it's been used a long time ago. Out of all the ways that I've been taught , i'm using my own intuition .. a lot of the work is passed down by books and a lot of the time they don't quite add up. So after experimenting I find this works. well and is actually quite alike what i see in ancient books. Question How long would you do the Causes? Bhante: About two minutes for now. So long as I try to make sure that the process does a complete cycle within the time. A cycle in this case meaning Samatha Rupa, onto Samatha Arupa, Space around. [ We'll go on in this retreat to do a guided meditation to also include : Noting Awareness of Sense Doors, then Anapanasati, then Vipassana full body awareness including noting sensations. ] So let's say that we have done a Fire Kasina and then looked at the Third Noble Truth - The Ceasing & Ending of Disharmony and Suffering, chaos and disorder... then we would begin with Arupa spheres. I have used various sequences and am quite comfortable with the seqence Red [orange] Yellow [green] Blue [mauve pale indigo ] White Light * it is worth noting though that in the Vimutti & Visuddhi Maggas and the other parent texts the practice is originally listed in,the sequence goes Blue, Yellow, Red, White , Light [ another side observation - those from a yoga, Hindu, Sikh, etc lineage usually automatically equate the colour spheres to chakkras, and chakkras to physical body organs and areas. This association isn't directly required here. Consider that many multitudes of devas and angels are reported which do not have such a physical body . Could you then have a Red Chakra / Kasina without you having any legs? So this is not encouraged to co-relate the two ideas. It suffices to work as if a rainbow spectrum is ahead of you , a holographic spherical lense ] So having arrived at Light kasina. The Fourth Noble Truth is the Path to the Stopping of Suffering, Chaos, Disorder and Disharmony This is The Eightfold Path
The beauty of this is that you are learning to still your mind, but then you turn your mind in to face your own meaning and understanding of Disharmony. Chaos and Disorder. You naturally use your intuition and insight to look at the Causes and what does it mean to you about the Ceasing of that chaos and what do you yet understand about the ceasing and stopping of it. It comes in your own language rather than something that's a bit preordered. We are missing two meditations here which are part of the sequence: Akasa , the focussing on the 360 degree Space or Environment Around us, obtained by removing the central Kasina and contemplating the surroundings, out to the horizon, then gradually to include more and greater range. Then, next is Viññāna, [ or Awareness of awareness]. Which is a Vipassana technique where you note : "Awareness of .... ' as experience arises , allocating to it the suitable Sense Channel 'Awareness of Hearing' 'Awareness of Temperature' and so on. This is non-conceptual. Just to come back to the question raised about Air Kasina.
'Personally I don't use Air Kasina currently much in my teaching, but you can try. It's not visible and it is known more by imagining the sensation, say touch... like if you feel for a draught - which makes it very similar to Anapana-sati within the nose. There the sense of air is known by its touch on the skin inside the nose. It can be aided by imagining breeze blowing things, such as leaves and sheets hanging, or visible dust in the air' The bridging between these two types of meditation, Samtha and Vipassanā is one of the Forty which actually belongs in both categories. This is called Anapana Sati. Āna - means breathing in Pāna - means breathing out Sati means mindfulness or recollection of... Question Is this Sanskrit or what? Bhante: 'Pāli. Pāli language. Sanskrit in the time it was used was a bit of a posh language. It was only used by the Brahmins. Pāli or Maghadi was used by most people . So there's a bridging meditation which comes as one of the Forty. Bridging between Samatha and Vipassana. This is done by concentration on the nose, at different areas of the nose. When we do that concentration , we do so by concentrating on the lip, the top of the lip,
the entrance to the nose and then concentrating gradually up into the nose and then concentrating at the top of the inner nose [with and without counting ] Question 'At the Third Eye?' Bhante 'Lower. Third Eye is up and within the brain between eyebrows or forehead. This is not in the brain it's in the air channel below the brain, the actual cavity of the nose. There is a yoga practice of touching the tongue up into this area from the inside. Not recommended. Khecarī mudra It's actually a kind of pleasure area within the nose. Something like when you are going to sneeze you gather concentration in that area... it goes very intense and then you sneeze. It can feel quite pleasurable before. Very tiny hairs in that area. It's just an area that you can keep suspending your attention on, that's all that is . It's better to put aside anything mystical about it. You could concentrate on pretty much anywhere. You could point a fan on your arm and concentrate on that area, its the sensation of skin and breeze in contact. You've got skin, you've got hairs, you can detect the movement and temperature of the air, and there's a shape there. That's all you need. You could sit here with the electric fan on your arm and focus... It wouldn't be called anapanasati but it would be relatively the same sort of thing. Concentrating on one area of the body and keeping it there.
Samatha and Vipassana One of the guided meditations I'll do transfers from one to the other... Samatha to Vipassanā via Ānāpāna-sati Before we do that we have missed out two very important stages, two meditations.
We are missing two meditations here which are part of the sequence: Akasa , the focussing on the 360 degree Space or Environment Around us, obtained by removing the central Kasina and contemplating the surroundings, out to the horizon, then gradually to include more and greater range. Then, next is Viññāna, or Awareness. of awareness. Which is a Vipassana technique where you note : "Awareness of .... ' as experience arises , allocating to it the suitable Sense Channel 'Awareness of Hearing' 'Awareness of Temperature' and so on. This is non-conceptual. So to recap, Kasinas have gone, thus far, in this way: [ although the sequence of the material kasinas , as yet, i don't see has an exact 'sequential order' ] 1- Earth 2 - Water 3 - Fire .... [ 4 - Air ] 5- Red [orange] 6 - Yellow [green] 7 - Blue [mauve pale indigo ] 8 - a,White b,Light
[ the secondary colours orange, green, mauve, indigo are just used transitioning from primary colour to primary colour ] 9 - Space around - Akasa 10 - Awareness of awareness - Viññāna
These two which are inbetween , 9 - Space around - [Akasa], 10 - Awareness of awareness - [Viññāna] need some explaining. Until now all those Rupa and Arupa meditations needed an object. You are filling the mind with this object. and absorbing your attention on the object. So the next two types you remove the central object totally. Until then you've been absorbed IN, towards a central focus, ON the object... and then you take the object out, remove it. You start to concentrate on the greater sphere around you , that becomes the object of your attention. It is called 'Akasa' which means two things : 1- Environment [ not in the sense of the Amazon jungle, it means what is surrounding us right here and right now ] 2 - and it also means 'Space' Question 'Is this again Pāli?' Bhante 'Yes. It can get confusing - as you get crossing with Akashic records and Akasha and all that cross-referencing from Sanskrit. If you just consider it for now ... say, for example, if you were to have a photographic memory... and look around you... and then be able to close your eyes... and recall this environment... as if you had a movie camera and you were filming it and you did a 360' and your head was clear.. so you could see behind you still and you were able to still the mind and look around and see that this would be the meaning of that word 'the Space around' You wouldn't be focussed on that spherical centre object , just everything else that is around. So to do that you have to keep the mind very still. ... and then forget about everything else. No thinking, you have to still the mind to do that.
That's Akasa. That's the remembered immediate environment. But if you consider there's the room below us through the floorboards... and the other side of the walls... 'there's the bed down there.. there's my things on the floor, there's the bathroom, and go through and then look out ... keep doing that out to the horizons. There you would consider ' there's the blue sky and clouds... but beyond those... beyond the blue sky there is stars... beyond the stars there is all those other things.... turning the mind out in that way ... there's the floor, there's below the floor, there's the sand, the mud and rock below that.. there's the planet... beyond the planet bulk there is some more sky and then clouds and then space over there as well... so you can go in infinite directions That's where this meditation develops to. People with very powerful concentration can enter it very quickly. It also has a sense of ascension. Even you can sense that the mind goes up through the body and even out through the head and even can see around. All of that has been done using the conceptual eye until now , basicly like a camera. Next level is done by not doing any of that conceptualising. Not seeing using the mind's eye. It is simply done by saying that ,if you are aware of the body at all 'awareness of body' [ mentally saying that internally ] Then if you are aware of seeing anything visual - 'awareness of seeing'. If you are aware of hearing like the 'crunch crunch crunch... of sounds over there..' that means that it is ear consciousness, 'awareness of hearing' . If you are aware of anything by thinking 'awareness of thinking'... 'awareness of smelling'... 'awareness of temperature' . Stopping all that conceptualising, because the mind is now very gathered and very collected. So now it's able to do it.. normally we are so involved in objects 'it's the pencils, where's the paper, what is that sound..oh.. etc We are so busy with everything that we just can't do that, we are not really aware. But now it starts to get slowed down. This is the first bit of Vipassana. This ability to have six-sense doors , and normally we have information streaming in through those six doors or channels, and to be able to just sit there and watch them with noting 'awareness of...' [ seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, body, thinking ] To be able to monitor it as it changes from one sense door to the other ... it's very difficult to do. But it's one of those Forty meditations, also a bridging one. Sometimes that's called Open Awareness, as you don't have a Primary Object, such as the breath. Where the mind is just sitting and it's just saying 'that's hearing going on'
'that's feeling going on' Question - [Gigi] 'It's like conscious of awareness...' Bhante: 'Yes. It's awareness of awareness. It's conscious of awareness. And that's one type of Vipassanā where you don't have a Primary object. Almost all of the Forty Samathas we described include a Primary object. A Primary object is where you say this is the main thing we are going to focus on. When you get up to this last meditation described you let all that go., just open up so anything can come, it's going to come from hearing, it's going to be a concept, it's going to be my eye-lids... seeing, or it's going to be information from my body, or information from my ears.. DON'T note 'it's MY ears' 'it's me seeing' 'I'm thinking' and so on, making it personalised. Say mentally 'awareness of'. If you hear that ice-cream van note 'awareness of hearing' , if you think 'ah, ice-cream, i wonder where is my wallet?' note 'awareness of thinking'.. Usually we find that during that open awareness time that the mind goes all over the place after the relatively tamed, trained and directed Kasina practice. The mind likes to be engaged in the world. So, we only do that for a very short time, like a minute or so. But it's a taster of Vipassana awareness. It's without a conceptual object, it really is, say, the body. And then having brought focus onto the body, with ānāpāna-sati we start to withdraw the attention closely onto the body, the nose. The upper lip area is quite spread and large as a thumb-nail perhaps, then we begin to withdraw within the lining of the nose to the upper-inner nose, an area that is smaller like a small finger nail or less. Bliss starts to arise as you are going very calm, you are withdrawing, and the mind feels very safe inside the body, in a nice safe environment , like being in a cave. Then having done that we start to move down and into... because we really want to be able to use the whole body as an object of awareness, but it needs gathering first of all. That will increase the power of concentration. Having got stronger power of concentration within here the nose, we want to be able to open out the area size of awareness while keeping up the strength of power. Not just fly away and we lose the concentration. So it goes down into the abdomen stomach area - watching the abdomen rising and falling. At this point the mind can easily just go to sleep. To prevent this we do an exercise of mentally jumping the focus point around and across the body. This is to brighten up the mind. That is done by just linking any touching areas of the body, for example - where the toes touch, where the tongue touches the teeth, where the eyelids are touching, where the thumbs are touching.. etc It is just moving the aim around. You have gathered control and then you jump, jump, jump...and this brightens up the mind and makes the mind work without moving the body. Normally we just move the body the whole time , so now we are keeping the body still and moving the aim of the mind around internally. Significantly this reveals the mind and body as independent , the mind isn't dependent on what the body is doing. The body can just be there suspended and the mind can be very active and under control. The deliberate aim of this is to balance up effort and concentration. This is so concentration doesn't go too high , if that happens the mind falls into dreaming and sleep. So you want to keep the mind bright, alert, awake and attentive in the present moment. Wide awake, not wide asleep by sinking into deep
hypnosis we want to get the mind very alert and keep it there. That is the right condition for Nibbāna, is wide awake and bright and hyper-alert in the present. Not to be 'gone' , not deep, not sinking or sunk, not 'away' - which is more like the Samatha ones. With those someone can be trying to call you and you are so deep in you don't notice, you are so absorbed. So , recap : ānāpāna - abdomen - then jumping all around.... THEN... after all of that the mind is then prepared to do Vipassanā... It can stay doing this 'Rising - Falling ' abdomen area. It can note the six sense-doors So the Primary Object is the abdomen's rising and falling motion. It is bigger than just keeping it within the nose, and it's constantly moving in and out.
[ recording BK retreat 2 140530_002 ] 30th May 2014
When you meditate and then you start to practice VipassanÄ the nature of the objects change from, in Samatha, being something which is apparently concrete, solid, suspended in the mind and primarily has one function and that is to tranquilise the mind. Samatha has side-effects like telepathy and paranormal gifts, like communicating with angelic devas, seeing past lives. This is because of the will-power and the refining of the mind is happening, subtlety of the mind. The magnetism of the mind, everything is getting finer, and clearer, also brighter and more powerful and less agitated. Naturally that strengthening of the will-power allows it to enter into these possibilities. But it also bars it from being able to go into VipassanÄ if we are not careful. If we only do this sort of ascension process [ bliss, rising up and out into radiant light ] that is not full release. Also when you stop doing it your defilements rush back in again. .. fear, anger, desire and ego. People show up who have been practicing those Samatha techniques for a long time and with pride still ' hey, i can read minds' 'i can see my past lives' 'I...I...I' the 'I..me...mine...' is still very strong. Jealousy, hate, even killing, can still be there , it's not removed.. they have just been on this journey of power-making. So we were just talking about the nature of VipassanÄ which is to see through illusions. The primary four illusions have the same characteristics. They can't easily be seperated out - they are facets of the same thing. The easiest one to address first is impermanence when you see that everything is impermanent . Focussing in on the actual present moment, nothing conceptual .. when you do that you see everything is shifting, it's like the sands at the bottom of the ocean, you can't build a house on it, it's changing around. That is not like visualising a clay kasina which seems to be very solid when you are fixing on it. This shifting nature, the impermanent nature shows also that you can't control the phenomena - it moves in front of your face, your eyes, it keeps changing. That is all the different layers of experience , it's the same when you look at the body, it's the same when you get the pleasure and displeasure, that keeps changing on it's own as well , the perceptions keep changing, and then the mind state keeps changing. Each keeps replacing the other, and within this changing flurry you can't find a self. That keeps showing up too. In that with the impermanence you can't control it to do what you want it to do that shows the non-self...if it was OURs we could get it to do what we want.. and we can't. Second illusion satisfying and pleasing. Then, when you are trying to look on a pleasure.. yet it is based on that nature...well, it's not really pleasure, based on something that is constantly changing and not in control. So that is the third type of illusion - the illusion that we can control it. The illusion that in there it is 'Ours, Us, and I ' and that it is permanent. Third illusion Non-Self The fourth illusion is Beauty. So people will look on someone and coo 'Ooh, blue eyes!' yes, but those eyes might itch and irritate... 'lovely proportions you have ' yes, but that person has migraine... people think there is beauty in the non-beautiful. Beauty in concepts that are built in a body that has aches and pains and gives us trouble so it's not really beautiful. People might say 'oh, you have a lovely voice' 'Yes, but that's because i've got a sore throat... '' ' But it sounds so husky and lovely' ' Yes, but it really hurts ...it's infected'
People get caught in the appearances of form and sound. So these Four illusions are all different faces of the same thing. That is 'You'.. when there's no self there. [ atta = ego - anatta ] It's Beautiful and it's really not. [ subha= beauty - asubha] 'You are so under control' and happy' when it is not in reality. sukkha = lovely- dukkha ] and this Illusory permanence. [ nicca= permanent - anicca ] Seeing that very clearly, that is the Vipassana that leads to insight . That builds up, seeing it over and over again. By that you see things very, very clearly. This is the nature of Vipassana. It doesn't arise from jhāna, from the Samatha practices. That causes bliss - but bliss doesn't lead to insight. It's just pleasant. The Buddha compared it to a calm cool quiet place to stay, like a fortress or safe-house, so the war with the defilements in vipassana can continue later... the struggles of the ego, the heat of anger, the pulls of the desires and all the dissapointments and trials that come along. Then retreat into quiet, calm of kasina or metta. With metta you have angelic love and calm, but with vipassana you see you have rage, or old wounds, or strange ego compulsions. A lot of the work of disentangling the ego and transforming hate and anger, and transforming lust and desire and ambition and so on into being dissolved. That can tiring. So we rest and we reflect.. then we go and investigate, then we rest and reflect, then we go in again and investigate... but we need that resting place. Art I found intermingling the art side good to do. Quick recap: Introduction about the Four Brahma Vihāras Metta, Karuna, Mudita, Upekkha
Earth kasina, Water kasina, Fire kasina, Air kasina, Red kasina, Yellow kasina, Blue kasina, White kasina, Light kasina, Space around , Awareness of awareness Ānāpāna-sati Abdomen rising and falling jumping around the full body to energize and practice touching-points
Here we want to open up the attention and full body area. We also now want to be able to keep the body boundary relatively clear to us. Practicing sending the attention through the body, top to bottom, bottom to top, knees to side, side to side, and through. It's energising and it also starts to map out the boundaries of the body and keep it there while we start to set up this concentration where we will be able to 'stay with' and observe 'what is in the hand of the mind's attention'. [ * end of recording .... ] [ * recording 3 BK retreat 3 140530_003 ] Bhante: A Story of the Buddha's Compassion as a youth and the Rivalry with his Cousin Devadatta The Buddha had been out in the countryside when he came across a swan that had been wounded by an arrow, which was stuck in it's wing. He tended to the swan and picked it up to help it, with compassion. Just then his cousin carrying a bow and arrows arrived, loudly claiming the swan as his, as he was the one who had shot it. The dispute was unresolved. Therefore they both took the swan with the arrow through it's wing to the chief of the village, who decided in favour of the Buddha. He said that compassion was better than this hunting. Just because you hunt something doesn't mean you have a right to it. So from the young age this difference in temperament has also started to show up that went back a very long way . Later, once the Buddha had become enlightened and established his teaching the cousin also took robes in it and tried to sort of keep up with him. He was always looking for openings and opportunities as it got more and more popular and as it spread [and it ended up spreading right across India] for ways to capture it and take it . One of the ways he tried to do this was to get an elephant drunk, that was known to be very bad tempered. Then he and his group sent it into a very narrow passageway with walls either side.. they then got it to charge . He knew that the Buddha would be coming along that area, with his alms bowl and a long line of monk disciples, and his chief assistant Ä€nanda. When the monks saw the elephant charging they ran , Ä€nanda ran in front though, to stop it , the Buddha asked him to stand out of the way and he used his Metta Loving Kindness by putting both hands up and using enormous power of compassion and metta towards the elephant which was charging. A lady had dropped her child in the way as well.. the elephant came to a halt and dropped to his knees. This was recorded. When I was in Sri Lanka , I was there for eight months , one period I spent in an area of low scrub bushes, low trees and sand-track jungle . I was in a cottage in that area , similarly it was about twenty minutes walk to the beach but through up and down dunes tracks covered in trees , and I had to find the way. In that area there were elephants . One time in order to find the beach at all , as I didn't know if I was going to be able to find the path, and if I did would I be able to get back? So I used to mark the track with white electrical tape in the branches I passed by. One morning I went along and I couldn't find any of my marked paths. At least i roughly knew the way by now. When I got to the beach eventually I was surprised to find this pile of ripped twigs, each with white tape on. Around were big round foot prints of the local
elephant. That was one of my first experiences with the elephants, they are territorial and they like you to know it. I had a book with me called 'Twenty Five Years in the Jungle' written by a Sri Lankan monk who had wandered backwards and forwards through these huge areas on foot with small groups of people ,and all the encounters with wild animals. These are really wild. So I had this book, and within it there was the chant of protection and metta that the Buddha was supposed to have uttered against the drunken elephant . I wrote it down, in my pocket chanting book, here it is: ' Ma kunjāra naga massado Dukkhangi kunjāra nāga massado Nahi naga hatthassa kunjāra Sugati hoti itoparang yatro'
May all reptiles be free from harm All reptiles be free from suffering No harm come to elephants Happiness always with them [ my loose approximate translation ] Seems 'naga Hatthassa' is one word for elephant. In Rudyard Kiplings 'Jungle Book', at least in the Walt Disney version, the leader of the elephants is called Colonel Hathi. It is based on old Jataka tales. past life stories of the Buddha, written while Kipling was in Burma. Communication with animals is a common theme within the Buddha's life. During the early times he was alone in the jungle he would dwell with them sweetly. One place I stayed at in a National Reserve area in Sri Lanka, I had a high bedroom perhaps eighteen feet above ground or so . One morning an elephants back went past and I found out there was an elephant going every morning or lunch time. The bins for the kitchen were just like cut down oil-drums and they put everything in there. The elephant would rummage around. To cut a long story short, some of the Sri Lankans there were pretty insensitive, some construction workers at an army base nearby , and they were using big earth-moving diggers . They were being quite cruel and I heard one of them shouting at the majestic animal once, and it charged them . Even though they were sitting in the 'safety' of the cab of the digger with their feet up. .. they had to flee for their lives. It charged them. But on the same day, after it had snuffled its trunk around the first dirty bin, and they were all there photographing it and teasing it , it came from that bin to another bin past where I was, sitting high up on a protruding viewing area with a grille . As it passed by I tried reciting the chant . To my delight and amazement it actually did stop! He listened and it lent against the wall , and it swung an ear out. It came really clear to me also they need that compassion, and they appreciate it very much. [ 5.44 min ] [ BK retreat 3 140530_003] So this communication with anaimals is something that develops when Metta develops By building up metta, more and more, everyday, it builds up step by step. The more powerful it becomes, the more habitual it becomes, animals can sense it as well and they
are very appreciative and sensitive to it. So to demonstrate that, you saw Bagheera in that last Jungle Book clip, he's the black leopard? So this is a story about a real animal like that . It had been abused in a circus or a zoo and had become very distrustful of people and was rescued by a couple who owned a big wild-cat sanctuary in South Africa. They took this black leopard, which are beautiful , huge big creatures, big, big and very graceful , but very private. Now, this one had been badly mistreated by people, probably trying to train it, like in the way that circuses do. The couple kept big cats, lions, tigers, leopards and they are quite used to working with these type of creatures. But they weren't big believers in anything like animal communication but after six months they were ready to give up. It was just staying sulking in it's room even though it had a huge compound of it's own. It just roared threateningly at everything coming nearby. They heard of an ' animal communicator' Anna Braeburn, who has this great power of the ability to communicate with animals. Birds, parakeets, baboons, all kinds of creatures. They brought her in . She would telepathicly communicate with the black leopard. At first they didn't really believe it and then she started to reveal things to them that the leopard named 'Diablo' was asking about, asking for reassurances and all kinds of things. It shows this transformation and how and how this couple experience it. It's a very heart-opening ability to be able to communicate with animals and to listen to nature. The first time I showed this video at Bahay Kalipay centre I was very awed by it. There were three or four cats here at that time, one of which was a slinky black one, Shadow , I'd been here two or three weeks or more and they hadn't really come near me . I sat down to show the leopard video and said 'Come and look at this', just as i reached to play the black leopard movie-clip the black cat, Shadow, sat on my feet . It was like a message from the cat of gratitude. This is the non-verbal side of spiritual life, it's something very inbetween the lines. It is one important thing to take in the verbal structures as we have been doing , the information and everything and yet also to be able to dissolve it and put it aside, in order to come back to the simplicity of breathing, the simplicity of loving animals, the simplicity of listening to nature and what's happening inbetween the bird chirps in the distance. Which is why solitude and nature goes together with it. So, thus, we learn to quieten down. Do rest after eating, it's good to rest and elongate the spine horizontally, digest and nap.
We are giving very full explainations so that the brain has fully understood in advance what it is we'll be doing. Rather than a blindly following instructions. Also it helps to develop trust. Trust is a big part of the process. Understanding what you are doing is part of it, trust is a part of it, and then doubts can dissolve away. You can progress much quicker. [ recording 4- BK retreat 4 140530_004 ]
The Eightfold Path Question: 'What do we use it for? To get into Vipassana? ' Bhante: ' It's a general frame of reference . So when we are talking about livelihood and lifestyle it fits in there, or speech it fits in there. All the factors line up most perfectly during VipassanÄ . Like, in a good moment, and we are talking here about moments, the whole path is a moment. It's just that when you can have it as a series , and when it becomes a characteristic then you are living in a very perfect way. Which is free of suffering. So, the Fourth Noble Truth which is the Path to the Cessation of Suffering is summarised by the alignment of the Eightfold Path. Things like Right Aim... people have all these different aims and they'll meditate just only in order to get more handsome , or to get rich , or to get revenge... but when it is all lined up the path appears - the path appearing is NibbÄ na. It's actually a mind-moment . When you are sitting in meditation you are behaving perfectly harmlessly , so Right Livelihood is there. When you are voluntarily withdrawing speech to meditate then Right Speech is there. Sitting meditating is perfected Action. When Effort and Concentration are lined up under mindfulness . Then Right Intention and Right View ..and it all lines up. Sometimes Right View can be out ... or Action and View but the rest of them are lined up. So it's a lining up..and that has been called 'clearing the path'. All this clarifying on questions, 'what is and what isn't...' and then it can accumulate and generate .. can set up and set working... [ recording 5 - BK retreat 5 140530_005 [One Moment Med] Question- [Gigi ] 'You can enter in any part of the whole process, and get out of it?' Bhante 'Yes. So, there are times and places , and appropriate responses to events , where you apply the knowledge of those... and increasingly less and less consciously, where you don't have to think about it. It happens by itself . You get more and more aware of the process - because of the three main things which are Greed, Hate and Delusion. All of the dispelling of greed, dispelling of delusion, largely comes through this , the dissolving 'that'. The more that happens the more integration can happen., then all of these become relative - based on the insight of this, both desire and anger start to dissolve. If there is less 'I, me, mine' going on then a lot of the anger and the hate , thoughts of 'I was this.... I'm afraid you are going to make me that' any of those things that are based on the 'I am' sense.. which is linked to the sense of 'I was' and 'I will be' and 'We are..' and all of the ramp-ups that come from that , can start to be weakened and dissolved. This is a good one - alike I was saying, 'insight can be in a finger-snap' . By applying the insight at any time, you can see a room as just a room or see it as all impermanent. All of the insight is there about that. You could be not breathing the next moment [snap!] you could get hit by a falling plane, or you could just have a heart attack. Everything that relates to attitude paradigm we go through again and again and
again..so it becomes second nature. Thus it becomes easy to deal with impermanence, with non-ego, easy to deal with abandoning ... all the main obstructions , whether they are fears or jealousies or tendencies towards stubbornness , or disobedience ...any of the main forty four obstructions.
How to meditate in a Moment Martin Boroson http://www.onemomentmeditation.com/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6eFFCi12v8&feature=kp clip
0:04 Since you're watching this video, 0:06 I bet you want to meditate but don't have time.[ring] [thonk] 0:10 [ring, ring] [thonk, thonk, thonk] 0:12 Maybe you've tried to meditate, but had some trouble. 0:18 Maybe you had a wonderful experience meditating over there, [birds tweeting] 0:23 but just can't find that same feeling over here.[office noise] 0:28 Well, my name is Marty Boroson 0:30 and in this video I am going to introduce you to the technique of One-Moment Meditation. 0:36 Then you can meditate whenever you need to. 0:40 [ baby crying] [doorbell] 0:43 Like when you are feeling stressed, [ding] 0:47 [happy cooing] 0:49 or feeling angry, 0:51 [ding] 0:52 maybe you're having trouble sleeping, [clock ticking] 0:57 [ding] 0:58 or you're feeling anxious, 1:03 [ding] 1:06 or you just need a new idea. 1:07 [ding] 1:07 [music] Although One-Moment Meditation is ultimately about meditating in a moment, 1:16 we are going to start with a minute. 1:20 We start with a minute because a moment goes by so quickly that it's very hard to notice, 1:28 but a minute is like a moment with handles on it. 1:30 You know where it begins and where it ends so it's easier to grasp. 1:37
If you're ready we'll do the basic minute now. 1:40 You might want to shut the door 1:42 or at least tell people you're not available for the next minute. 1:44 You don't have to tie yourself in knots for this, 1:48 just sit with your legs planted firmly on the floor. 1:52 Try to sit up straight but don't be rigid. 1:58 It's as if your head were being lifted up away from the weight of the world. 2:03 Think of it as cosmic traction. 2:07 Now put your hands in any position that's balanced, symmetrical and still. 2:13 Like this. 2:14 Like this. 2:15 Or like this. 2:18 During the minute simply focus on your breathing moment by moment. 2:23 Of course even in the space of a minute you will get distracted. 2:30 That's perfectly normal. 2:32 It doesn't mean you're doing it wrong. 2:35 But as soon as you notice you're distracted just think hmmm and bring your mind back to 2:39 your breathing. 2:41 I'll ring a bell so you know when to start and when to finish. 2:46 Ready. Then close your eyes. 2:49 Oh, one more thing. 2:52 It's ok to smile. And, go. [bell] 4:02 [bell] As you open your eyes notice how you feel right now. 4:05 Maybe a little bit refreshed, 4:07 a little bit more awake, 4:08 a little bit more open minded. 4:11
Not bad for a minute. 4:13 And the more you do it the better it gets. 4:17 But please don't ever do the basic minute for longer than a minute. 4:21 Don't be macho about it. 4:23 Because the point of the basic minute is to show you that you can make a meaningful change 4:27 in your state of mind quickly. 4:30 So if you do it for longer you're cheating. 4:35 With One-Moment Meditation you can also learn how to do the portable minute 4:38 which is very useful when you're standing in line,[beep] 4:43 on a train,[engine noise] 4:47 or stuck in a boring meeting.[snores] 4:50 You can also learn the bonus minute, 4:52 the surprise minute 4:53 and the emergency minute. 4:57 With One-Moment Meditation you can also learn 4:59 how to reduce the length of the basic minute step-by-step 5:04 until it only takes a moment. 5:07 And when you can meditate in a moment your whole day can be filled with mediation. 5:14 Because it takes no time at all.
A nice little piece. They actually start with one minute ... then they say don't increase it. This is interesting because when people say 'Ten Days', meditation retreat.. they set up an attitude. One Hour.. can I make it? This clip's teaching is quite good for countering that tendency . Because the ego wants trophies...and the ego wants to compete... This is good in terms of that. It's like a lot of Zen. A lot of Zen baffles that side of the personality... which wants to
achieve and wants results. All that sort of thing. Invariably if you go to Vipassana centres there are people camped in there with all the trophies. So i like this 'One Moment meditation' it takes a Zen approach. One moment. A finger snap. Not to be lazy.. But keep it simple
Session of Sitting [ recording 6 - BK retreat 6 140530_006 guided med ] [ bell ] One minute sit [ bell ] Bhante: 'Anything to report or note?' Let's keep it with the breathing concentration. Also see whereabouts it naturally sits. It can be base of nose or higher.. Is it easy to let it remain there? Or does it flicker and wander around? Because we can also apply the counting. .. to retain it there. [ Gigi ] 'What I do is I count one to ten...' to just maintain the breathing Bhante: 'So you make the count after it breathes out? Like 'in -out '[ one ] 'in - out [ two ]... ? Gigi ' Yes, and it helps me also, follow... because it's my whole being' Bhante: ' ok, so let's try one more... [ bell ]
[ One minute silence ] [ bell ] I'm just going to add an 'Ommm' recording from the Dalai lama as a sound aid. If you wish to you can introduce throat resonance as well. Follow with the chanting hum. Because you have a background in ritual using chanting like that yes? So I wanted to add that. As we progress it's something I would like to support . If you have good memories of meditating calmly getting deeper through doing that as well. Also not to force the breath to go long in or push it out. Just let it go quite naturally. If you are calm enough without the sound aid just stay with the breathing. Developing stillness Developing presence Developing sensitivity just a minute at a time, just concentration on breathing two meditations here 1 - the sound chant of 'Om' , be aware of breathing though 2 - concentration on breathing , with audio sound as just background mood sound [ your choice ]
I personally don't usually chant 'Om' , only occassionally.
[ bell ]
* About the recording [ Dalai Lama chants ] Sri Mrityunjaya Mantra Also Called Mahamoksha Mantra, Great Enlightenment. words are : Om tryambakam yajamahe Sugandhim pusti vardhanam Urvarukamiva bandhanan
Mrityor mukshiiya maamrtat or Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra OM triyambakam yajāmahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam, [ om ] urvārukamiva bandhanān mrrityormokshiya māmrritāt. (Rig Veda: Mandala 7, Hymn 59, Verse 12) Translation**: We worship the Three-eyed one who is naturally fragrant, immensely merciful, and who is the protector of the devotees. Worshipping Him, may we be liberated from death for the sake of immortality, just as the ripe cucumber easily separates itself from the binding stalk. [By your Grace, let me be in the state of salvation and be saved from the clutches of fearful death.] OR We worship the Father of the three worlds, who emits the excellent fragrance which nourishes all. As a cucumber is released from its bondage to the stem, so may we be freed from Death to dwell in immortality. The story behind the recording: A beloved friend of the Dalai Lama, another monk, was making his transition from this life to the next. Not, it might be said, as a trauma or a lost cause, but as a joyful journey at the correct time and with understanding of life beyond earth life. The Dalai Lama sat at his friend's bedside and chanted this chant for hours until the monk, with joy and peace, made his crossing. Those who were present begged the Dalai Lama to record the chant so that it might be shared with the world. He agreed to do so only if it was stated that the recording could never be sold, but only given away. This MP3 is the result. It is not for sale but is meant to be copied and shared. This is one of the most sacred and powerful mantras used for healing. It has truly wondrous therapeutic power when chanted or listened to regularly. Mrityunjaya mantra will help you to know the divinity within. It is chanted to know eternity. The mrityunjaya mantra is considered one of the maha mantras or great Sanskrit mantras because of its potency to give protection and manifold blessings. Maha mrityunjaya literally means the great victory over death. It is associated with Shiva, the destroyer of ignorance, and the liberator from the cycle of death and rebirth. It is therefore a life giving mantra that not only protects the physical body and gives health, but purifies the mind at a deep level.
[ bell ] music fades ' So, also here, like to show you where that meditation fits in. ..or where chanting fits in... these three of the Forty meditations - Buddhanusati, Dhammanusati, Sanghanusati. When you actually recollect , or reflect or bring to mind the actual Buddha , the actual Teacher , the actual Master teaching and the qualities of the Buddha ..then that is one of
these three meditations. There are lots of different ways that it is done. But often it is just done by visualising. So, you can see we have some Buddha staues around here. When you bring that kind of image to mind , that is one of these. It is called Buddha-nu-sati.
Sati is to reflect on Someone who spread peace in a warring place , that he calmed and educated people, reassured people, created a very safe world, and so many things like that. It can also be done like the 360' North, South, East, West , and something in the centre. In the kasina style it was a sphere, in the centre but you can also picture the Buddha there in the centre.
Dhamma-nusati Then there is the Dhamma or Dharma.* * The meaning is the same, Dharma tends to be a Sanskrit rooted one, if it's come from Tibet or China, or America. If it went down Southwards through India it tends to be Dhamma then it's PÄ li rooted. So Dhamma means the Spiritual Law, it also means when the Buddha was teaching about the Spiritual Laws his teaching was then called The Dhamma, of this current Buddha. It's the science of mind including spiritual laws., not just psychology or psychiatry , which doesn't usually include things like kamma. If someone is psychopathic or psychotic it can also be a kammic cause , they may have murdered people in past lives and this is also surfacing. Psychiatrists wouldn't normally look at that they would just look at the symptoms and they say this drug will stop it but they don't look into the root-cause ,wheras the Buddha could do that. He could say 'In a past life you were a Captain of a ship and you sunk twenty fishermen when you arrived from Spain.. ' something like this. Dhamma-nusati It's quite difficult to picture the Buddha's teachings. So it's not an easy one to describe how to do. For me it's almost a little different everytime. But often when i'll be chanting in the morning and there will be a chant that includes recollection of the Buddha, we are recommended to do that at least once a day . Otherwise you can fill your head with news, and other people from the media , this way it creates a sense of stability through your weeks, your months and your years. That you have this stable recollection - thousands of years old. So then the Teachings, in whatever form or formlessness that you imagine. But you recall them ' it's complex, it's deep, it's really trustworthy, it's not vague, it's very precise, someone who invented this really understood how things work and how to bring about states of mind...this kind of reverential respect about it. Sangha-nusati Then the people who are transmitting it and have been transmitting it - which is the Sangha. Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. Sangha means community. There have been fully enlightened ones, and so there is a classic recollection of eight particular ones who were historically recorded . They are mentally pictured East, West, South , North and then the intermediate points. That's a classic way of recollecting the Sangha. It gives you a great sense of security and protection, to be mentally surrounded by them. There are ones who have a photographic memory, there is one with great supernatural
powers, or the Buddha's son, or one who was foremost in analytical teaching. So that's called Sangha-nu-sati. Or even when you consider someone like the Dalai Lama, he's a Sangha member. So you might feel ' Ah, the Dalai Lama, he's cool, we are safe, we are near him..' when you think of him, he has that warm sense of peacefulness and compassion. So that's called Sangha-nu-sati. All -something 'nu-sati' means sati - as mindfulness of, or recollection of.... Recollection of Death - Marana-sati Recollection of breathing - ānāpāna-sati Recollection of the body - kaya-nu-sati You can reflect about the brevity of life and that death is sure to come. If you have a close experience with death it can make you change your values. Not to waste the time of life . Question - [ Gigi ] 'How do they choose a Dalai Lama?' They have several of those where they say who is born to be the next one...' Bhante : ' Hmm. I have a movie that documents them, looking for the rebirth of a very advanced teacher. That's not quite the same as , I read the way , the process that they used to find the current Dalai Lama. The video of them finding this young boy [ movie Unmistaken Child ] was actually a bit more convincing for me, to be honest. The orginal Lama quest , i thought 'oh, come on , that's a bit far fetched isn't it?... [ things like the direction of a puff of smoke, the resemblance of ripples on a lake to Tibetan letters when the wind blew, etc ] well, somehow they found the one that they have now. But this is where there has been a Lama who died and they then went out with his beads , or a bowl.. or some personal objects, several articles . I think he said which direction he would be born in , then they put the word out if anyone thinks their child is giving signs of being a bit unusually gifted or spiritually inclined, just wants to meditate.. so they had three candidates .. they went to the first and second who just burst into tears... just wondering why their mum is pushing them . Then they went to one and he was incredible, without prompting, they were just taking out some beads, and he just grabbed them and put them on, as if to say 'they are mine!' they put out several items and he went for exactly the right one. So they set up tests like that. That was the search for Geshe Lama Konchog though, not the Dalai Lama.
But that's a whole phenomena of Tibetan Buddhism and culture which emphasises this kind of thing. Whereas in Gautama Buddha's teachings you just don't hear that kind of thing referred to in that kind of way very much. Question [ Gigi ] 'So, it's specific to Tibetan? ' Bhante 'Yes. Well, they already had a Lama cult before the Buddha . That involved two of the key factors in this, one is the factor of constantly being reborn deliberately out of compassion for all people, rather than preventing yourself from getting reborn . That's one key factor, whereas in Gautama Buddha's teaching he didn't say to do that he said to end your round of rebirths, try to prevent yourself getting reborn. You are getting reborn, over and over again without realising it and because of that all this grief and sorrow , illnesses you are having because you are addicted to being over and over again. And He declared he won't be reborn again , and that he'd realised the way to do that. Therefore he was transmitting it out of compassion but once he's died he's gone, but he's left his teaching rolling on and you don't need him anymore , he's designed it so carefully. Sometimes in those areas , it's gone around and it's morphed like that - they refer to the Buddha more in the way of a salvation doctrine . So that the Buddha becomes like a living being watching from the Heaven , who can help you if you ask him... Question : ' Something like Jesus..?' 'Yes. In many areas it is treated like a salvation doctrine. You ask for help . Whereas, whilst you do go to the Buddha for refuge, you then undertake to do the work in Buddhism and to just follow the instructions, in order to gain the liberation. This work you have to do yourself, assisted somewhat by a teacher but you are not heavily dependent on them in that kind of way. Once they have past on the 'How to Do It' you have to do the work. [ Gigi ] ' On your own..' So that's one factor. The other factors is consorts . The Lamas weren't celibate and had consorts. Therefore they had little children, and the Lamas lived in temples. So then you've got to explain about these children, and they would be the ones inheriting the temples... and all everything you need to justify them and locate them and honour and revere them and all this. Whereas that's not really there when you look at the Theravada accounts, the records of the Buddha which were very well recorded.
They have compared versions of the teachings which were down in India and in China put them together and they are very concurrent. So, if they have been reborn , so it means they haven't gone all the way yet. It doesn't mean teachers don't exist. Even American ex-pilots who got shot down , and now there are six-year old children who can describe which exact battle-ship they were on, which air-craft carrier, here they got shot down, remembering specifically about it. Brief meditation [ bell ] [ Dalai Lama chant ... ] Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra OM triyambakam yajāmahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam, [ om ] urvārukamiva bandhanān mr-rityor-mokshiya māmrritāt.
[ bell ] Bhante: 'So, again it feels nourishing, it feels calming... ' [ Gigi ] ' It's soothing, quiet... and calmer, and expansive... smooth' [ bell ] [ Dalai Lama chant ... ] Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra OM triyambakam ya jāmahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam, [ om ] urvārukamiva bandhanān mr-rityor-mokshiya mā mrritāt.
[ bell ]
Bhante : ' That's good. If we can just bulid up some moments like that, just experiencing it . Just repeatedly, over and over. How does that compare to doing the loving-kindness meditation this morning? [ Gigi ] 'Loving kindness was expansive , physically as well...' Bhante : ' Across space.. ' [ Gigi ] ' And when I was also listening to it while I was seated, the expansion was really very, very wide... to the point where there was the sun's energy and mine merged somehow ...it felt warm. It's expansive yet still inside. The breathing is graduating , and it's longer ...' Bhante : ' The breath itself...? Slowing down and opening up...? [ Gigi ] 'Yes, yes, yes..' Bhante : '..with the music, slowing and deepening your breath? [ Gigi ] 'right... ' Bhante : It's like more surrender, more... [ Gigi ] ' It's just more moment, you feel more with the breath, you are in the moment, another moment - it's like that...' Bhante : 'Building... like a wave... more present, less wandering mind [ Gigi ] ' It felt so nice cause i was in the breath...like it's a total surrender to the breath...' Bhante : ok.
SO be aware of where we are. The challenge is ... Notice what you are doing there is using the whole length of the breath. Be aware that you using the 'whole body breath' . There is the touch of the air, through the whole tube. One kind of awareness is just like 'being one with it'... 'here it is, this silky thing ...and I'm one with it' over and over. ...and the 'I am one with' thing ... we have to be careful in order to be able to get over to vipassana. Because, this merging with the object is somewhere around here [ indicating diagram ] This is observer and the observed. There is the breath over there and I am seperate. That's a kind of sinking into the object and in order to get vipassana , we need to maintain some kind of equanimity and observe. Also to be careful of the notion 'I am that' ... When the perception arises ' I am that ... that's my whole being...' be aware of it. That's all I'm saying for now. Because that is a perception. So if you make any kind of mental noting 'awareness of perception' then this is the key to be able to make vipassana arise. With vipassana if you have any physical object, this is a physical object in this case, you have any feeling, in this case it's a pleasant feeling, if you just take these two factors, you able to say, 'awareness of pleasant feeling' ' awareness of whatever elements are there' [ Gigi ] ' It's like as if you are objectifying it ' Bhante : 'Yes, vipassanÄ arises from being able to do that... and if you always sink into the ojbect you can't do that... Like, if a pleasant object arises and you just dive in , you just swim in, like swimming in silk sheets... so vipassana won't arise in that case. So it's one thing to be able to get aware of the object and see that it is ...'temperature' or it's 'touch' and then secondly that it's pleasant and then also that the mind state is pleasant/pleased . There's actually a few layers... I'm actually stopping at two or it may just get a bit much. But it's to be able at any point to turn round and say 'awareness of pleasant feeling ' or 'awareness of pleasant mood' . If you just start floating up thinking ' oh man, I'm super out-here..' [ Gigi ] ' So, if thinking comes in...?' Bhante: 'If there is thinking there ... or if you notice the mood... not to start thinking about it , but to be able to note it. Just identify it, without any judgement.
'awareness of pleasant feeling' and then it starts to move into vipassana territory. So, one thing is to be absorbed into it, and to have the sense 'I am that'. Because if that is there 'I am that' then there is still identifying going on. So, anything where you say [ rings bell ] 'I am the sound' or if you say 'my bowl!' ...or if you say 'I am the listener!' ' '...I, me , mine' a process is going on where some identifying is happening. So, trying to get to a point whereby if that does arise you can see it as a mental formation happening, as a tendency happening . So, if you say 'I am the car' or 'I am the trees' or 'I am the wind' 'I am the...' 'I am the...' 'I am the...' 'I am the...leg. 'I am the...face. 'I am the...hairstyle.' [ Gigi ] 'Brings you to vipassana....' Bhante: 'It's part of vipassana to be able to observe any of the mind-states arising, so that 'awareness of anger, awareness of irritation, awareness of liking, awareness of doubt, awareness of ego forming, awareness of envy, any of those ... To be able to see it and to observe it. So you are not prone to it. Otherwise you are prone to it. ' [ Gigi ] ' Awareness of awareness... oops' Bhante 'If you say 'oops' you are judging on it. Just to try to do it coolly and without judgement. Even if you are aware of something very neutral like your arm. Or in vipassana you don't take the attitudes 'it's an arm' you note 'awareness of hardness' or 'awareness of temperature' or 'awareness of form' or 'awareness of weight'. These are kind of primaries. Even if you say 'it's a pink or flesh coloured arm' , like when it is out of sight, that is conceptual. So then you note concepts as concepts. These four primaries are hardness-softness, temperature, sponginess, movement. On top of that, there may be that the experience that is pleasant or unpleasant... then there's whether you like it or don't like it. If perception goes in and says 'Oh, I don't like my arm...it's freckly...' perception is working. If you get 'I am that' ' It's mine' then the mind-state is working. So, being able to see those things and do the noting , and then just keep seeing it, as they change from one to the other, this gives rise to insight. Any experience that is there.... or is potentially there.
[ Gigi ] 'Ok, I got you.. awareness of being aware.' Bhante ' Yes' [ Gigi ] 'And based on whats happening' Bhante 'Any object - it can be the body , in terms of those primaries... it can be the feelings, in terms of pleasant- unpleasant, neutral ... the mind mood, in terms of pleasant- unpleasant, neutral ... [ Gigi ] 'So it can be ...if you feel you legs are tired for example? ' Bhante ' That would be a mixture of things... hardness, weight, pressure, temperature...' [ Gigi ] 'So I should just identify those subtelties?' Bhante: 'Yes. And then it starts sorting things out and separating them into the elements . From the elements you can get impersonal very easily. You say easily, 'ah yes, there's hardness, that's touch, that's temperature.. ' and all you are seeing is that 'blobs' is making that all up ... almost pointilistic. [ Gigi ] 'This is also helping me develop 'The Witness'...' Bhante: pause... 'Who is the Witness?' [ Gigi ] 'The Witness is someone ... who seems to be ... for example, sometimes I'm talking to someone , a friend or something, and somewhere there's this 'ahh...' 'you are saying this because...' and it's just an observation and not a judgement. You are saying this to your Self... rather than to the person you are talking to. Bhante: 'This is kind of three-way . So you've got What's Going On, and there's Somebody Detached... So, experiencing these directly ... So, if you get a voice saying ' You are doing this because...' as if there was a third person. So then you take that as your object directly. So what you are actually hearing is ... 'talking' or 'sound' or 'voice' or anything like that.
So you only put 'awareness of hearing ' with it. [ Gigi ] 'In vipassana...' Bhante: 'In vipassana...In that moment in time, within the mind, there is a model built - which is 'There's You, there's The Witness and then there's The Experience. ' In vipassanā you kind of take it to task. Because people build those models and then live by them. They go ' Yes, there's Me, and The Observer, and then there's Experience...' I t's a Three-Way thing. As if you've got 'Seeing - The Seer - and The Witness' say for example. And there's kind of..Who's Who... Who's the Real Me? If you have the Three Way Experience like that ...well, who is observing that at any one time? In a way it's like looking for the 'Real Me' ...a 'thing' that is always there. So you test that in vipassanā. You usually find, then that they are not real, they have been assumed to be real or assumed to be constant. When you take them into that process you see that they only happen for a while. It can be another way of 'I, Me , Mine'-making. ,an I-Me-Mine model. But you just take it to task, no one can say it for you, you just observe it. So long as you take these things as ultimates, in the sense that if there's thought, which is heard you just do 'awareness of hearing' but if in thought you see 'your self' sitting... well, then who is observing? ..that.. so if you see a picture of yourself sitting ... well, I can feel the body sitting here, but I've got a picture in my mind of 'Me' sitting... so then you say 'well, who's observing that?' Who's observing all three? If that was the case you could turn around and find the Third One who would then observe that? And you find this is part of impermanence ... there isn't a permanent One . But the mind makes a model where there is one. So this is one of the tricks of the 'I - Me - Mymaking' . The 'I-Me-My Making' happens in so many ways. Sixty Two at least, according to the Buddha. There are ways it appears as 'I'm in the body' , another one goes 'no, I AM the body' ..so another can go 'it's MY body..., well hold on ..ok, then there's an Over-Person who's got it.. so, there a Witness ...now, wait a minute... ' You find that all of these viewpoints ...none of them really stand up to the vipassanā of just directly noting what is. Whereas the game of the ego is to try to make permanence , is to try to make absolute identity and to try and make possession. To try to take it in terms of body, or feeling, or perception, or mind-states, and say 'It's mine!' 'I'm the angry One!' 'I've always felt like that!' but you get clear not through a belief system but by seeing it internally on direct contact. A lot of it happens in perception, and we bypass
perception by only noting 'awareness of...' When any perceptions comes up and starts comparing or turning out an interpretation that's run through that ..the Ego Mill... you only put awareness of perception or awareness of seeing, awareness of thinking, awareness of ... [ Gigi ] 'ok' Bhante 'Sounds so complicated! The more simply I try to explain it the more complicated it sounds! But when you look to Ancient books that's what they say, it all fits exactly - like that. Some people go strong on the belief in 'The Witness'. Others it's 'I am my Body' identify with that. Or a permanent over-seeing Something. The only request is to investigate within...well, is it really permanent? If it is then it should stay there all the time. If it's under your control you should be able to make it do what you want it to do... and it keeps not doing what you want it to do. It keeps slipping away. The Forty meditations are mainly calming... then when we start doing this practice of examining and noting, it's the vipassana that we are discussing - insight starts to show up. So here we are at the transition point. [ Dalai Lama chant ]
OM triyambakam ya jāmahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam, [ om ] urvārukamiva bandhanān mr-rityor-mokshiya mā mrritāt. We worship the Father of the three worlds, who emits the excellent fragrance which nourishes all. As a cucumber is released from its bondage to the stem, so may we be freed from Death to dwell in immortality.
[ bell ] [ bell ] Bhante : 'So another thing is about 'becoming one with the body.' When you breath you may get this creamy richness , that feels really pleasant.
'Touching Points'. So let's have a go at the 'Touching Points'. Then you get an experiencing of that merging
with the body and staying with. Try moving to the abdomen, lower down. An area around the size of a hand around the belly button. Let's try that for one minute. Have you got movement there? Without pushing or pulling. A pancake area about the size of a palm. [ bell ] [ Dalai Lama chant ] OM triyambakam ya jāmahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam, [ om ] urvārukamiva bandhanān mr-rityor-mokshiya mā mrritāt.
[ bell ] Bhante : ' Just want to clarify what we are doing there. Here, with abdomen movement we are concentrating on the skin. When focus goes to the nose it goes to the skin, to the lining of the nose, the skin. So if you put your concentration to the lining of the nose when the air flows in, the cool air is brushing the wet-lining of the nose and that's what feeling you are pickingup. It's still skin inside. When you put the attention here, the abdomen, it's really the same type of object - it's skin. It's not perception, it's not pleasure-based feelings for now, it's not anything else. [ Gigi ] 'It's just brushing it, is that what you are saying?' Bhante: 'Yes. This is where you've got the jelly on the inside of the skin, and when you are breathing it's pushing down the intestine and you are just registering the elasticness of the skin as it is expanding.' [ Gigi ] ' It looks like it was cold and empty' Bhante: 'Hmm... [ Gigi ] ' Tell me if I'm doing it correctly or incorrectly.' Bhante:
' Are you getting movement? Is there movement? ' [ Gigi ] ' No, it's just staying.. it's cold and ...empty...' Bhante: ' Ok. That's fine, and the coolness... coming from just the sense of the temperature sense.' [ Gigi ] 'It's not coming from some outside source.' Bhante: ' Try putting your hand there now... do you feel any movement? ' [ Gigi ] ' I don't feel cold. ' Bhante: 'Keep that there... and just keep it just pressed against it. Let's do one minute just like that. ' [ bell ] ' just to experience it without any trying this, that or the other. [ Dalai Lama chant ] OM triyambakam ya jāmahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam, [ om ] urvārukamiva bandhanān mr-rityor-mokshiya mā mrritāt.
[ bell ] Bhante: 'What are you experiencing there?' [ Gigi ] ' It wasn't anything any more... of course I felt my hand... on my stomach part, but somehow there's this feeling that it went up. The emptiness went up there. Bhante: 'Try to keep it that you are experiencing directly in terms of these primaries. Also if you get that sensation, that it is 'empty' try to see that that is perception. Really what's there.
Emptiness is like...hungriness? or emptiness is like that you can't touch it because there is a space inbetween? All these things we need to look at minutely. Looking very descriptively.. you are down there in a space-ship and you are just calmly observing and sending a report back, according to precise information, no assumptions... Some of those perceptions they are 'group perceptions' . So try to break them down even more primary. Even...if you notice you are seeing the blackness there... 'seeing'. Because actually you are up in your eyeballs during that time. If it's touch , you might want to say 'well, it's just my hand ' but ..ok... that's touch. Gig: 'Like you feel it is heavy' Bhante: 'Awareness of pressure. Or awareness of touch..' If it's hard ... you feel like bone to bone awareness of hardness. But if you look at the hardness and you are aware that it is just warm there , it's 'awareness of temperature.' But you look for a bit more but you just see blackness...'ah, awareness of seeing'. So you are really up here, at the eyes but just looking for something. But if you see the mind perceiving and making it's mind up about something 'awareness of peception.' Even if you hear the word 'empty' or anything like that, if you hear a thought or a perception note it 'awareness of hearing, or awareness of thinking'. Gig: 'ok, ok.' Bhante: 'If anything comes up as a, say unpleasant response to it note the unpleasantness or if disliking. What's actually in the mind's hand.. what really comes up...one by one by one. What really actually occurs. Just keep stating what it is as you are aware. But it might not stay there, it might just blip elsewhere and and you are looking at your toes. But 'your toes' are what? Warmth, touch, shape.. or you may be in a fantasy of a time, and just slipping away... or you are with the hearing, just listening, to the crunchy gravel ,that's awareness of hearing . So bringing it to these primary elements and which channel you are sensing it through ,which line of consciousness, this is doing vipassana. This clarifying the channel and monitoring the awareness. That is very different to glueing to something which is what we are doing in Samatha. If you can know 'ah, now we are doing Samatha, and now we are doing vipassana', this is also very good to be able to clarify. It's not easy. It's a multi-process , with multiple objects. As opposed to having one nice cosy one, that you stay with, or just a cosy conceptual object.
Maybe we'll go two minutes. See how it feels. Are you ok, comfortable? ' Gigi: 'ok, ok.' [ Dalai Lama chant ] OM triyambakam ya jāmahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam, [ om ] urvārukamiva bandhanān mr-rityor-mokshiya mā mrritāt.
[ bell ] two minutes [ bell ] Bhante: 'So this is a new kind of challenge, another kind of challenge. A different kind. Gigi: ' It was again cold. But it felt hard and there was an opening somewhere in the belly in the belly button. ' Bhante: 'These three experiences that you just described were you able to note them? Like 'cold' or 'awareness of temperature' Gigi: 'awareness of temperature'...yes. Bhante: 'and that ... and then?' 'awareness of hardness?' Gigi: 'Yes' Bhante: 'then awareness of opening...?' What did you note that as?' Gigi: 'It felt like there was a volcano inside me. ' Bhante:
'Was that very clear to 'it felt like a volcano?' were you able to do the awareness of and the comparison, or the interpreting or that kind of labelling and naming? Gigi: '...s-s-somehow...' [laughs] 'it started but I get to identify those little things Bhante: 'So this was with the hand on the belly, you were able to feel it, in the hand? or under it in the belly? actually inside the belly area itself. And you were able to note it as temperature? Did it change? or did you stay with it , or ... Gigi: ' the coldness was there throughout, the experience... then it shifted into something that was hard, it felt like there was something inside that was hard and soft. Bhante: 'You're aware of the belt-line and this is separate also? Gigi: ' it felt like there was an opening. But I think I did not continue asking the question... Bhante: ' Asking the question...'? Gigi: 'I mean 'awareness of temperature, softness and all...on top' Bhante: 'yes. Gigi: ' it felt like coldness, and it felt like hardness ,on top of that soft ...outside of it and suddenly there is an opening. ' Bhante: 'Try to observe it neutrally... this is something, just phenomena., it can be any number of causes.. it may just be your lunch! [ laughs ] The hand just keeps you able to stay focussed on the same area and just observing it under that 'keyhole view'. Rather than it roving and wandering around here and there. And how is the breath now? Gigi: 'It somehow became sort of tense. Which meant it became more flowing earlier than now. I'm not sure if I am tense about wanting to just identify ... Bhante: 'That's very important , when you get the sense 'it's ME that's doing that...' look for that...
look for the 'I, Me , Mine making ' . When there's that formulating , when there's the possessing , when there's the controlling bit in there, really try to observe it happening... both the mind-state or what it thinks it is making happen. Gigi: ' So when that happens, when you see that , what should I do?' Bhante: ' Do nothing. Only to observe that it is happening. As you have observed it that is knowing. When it wasn't being observed it was unknowing...and so the unknowing is part of the conditions for ego to be apparently doing something... but it's actually an appearance.' Gigi: 'So, it's for example you feel some constriction here while trying to observe what's happening... over here... ' Bhante: 'It can be just the normal interfering mind. It's just normal. Everybody's is doing it . But when you turn it onto this out of control-process that is so close to home it can start reacting with 'Hold it! Stop! Pause...pause...pause...' and it's doing all that stuff, that it normally does. This method helps to bypass it and turn the attention back to say 'This is what you are doing...' There is a sort of natural loop going on here..that doesn't include YOU' ,'Who?...' 'Me!' Stop...start...slow down... and it's doing the kind of controls . And this is what kind of breaks it open...to see that , and then break the loop by saying 'awareness of' and only show what's actually there. If you see the 'I'm doing that' then 'awareness of...the claiming' and then see what follows on afterwards and note that. Keep observing the whole thing... the sticking, and stopping, starting and then stopping... the uncomfortable and the pain, then trying to grip on, the relaxation, trying to go back to the way it was before, all of those things. Just constantly putting it under awareness. Normally that would not be happening. Normally with our limbs, with our possessions, that normally get's disguised in, and now it's being put under close observation. ..the claiming, the identifying, the impact of it, the controlling and so on. One thing is to merge with the breath, but if you are really one with it you can control it to do what you want it to do... and here it is doing something by itself. Out of control. By keeping it under observation it disempowers the claiming. That's shorthand. Anyways just keeping doing the noting does it by itself. Disentangles. Then it will flow for a while and then stick for a while and slow the flow for a while, stick for a while.
Let's walk around for a while just to get some circulation. I'm not a big one for doing equal amounts of walking and sitting meditation but I was taught like that as a beginner. I'm much of a sitter like many people. In an afternoons practice you can do some sitting and walking to make sure there is enough circulation and flow and there's enough variety as well. You find it helps to keep your self healthy. Walking Meditation & The Four Primary elements. If you wish to do walking meditation concentration stays with the feet , and in the movement with exactly all the same things ... basicly you are watching the same things that you are watching in the abdomen... which is the skin, and body awareness. This is called observing the Four Primary elements. You are watching Movement, Hardness and absence of hardness , Temperature , the whole range whether it's cool or warm, and then sponginess [for want of a better word] Like your tongue is mainly sponginess and temperature...because it doesn't have bone involved or much movement. Usually where you get bone or skin coming into contact together you get hardness ...'awareness of hardness'. Maha Bhuta - The Great Elements Air - Movement Earth - Hardness, solidity Fire - Temperature ranges Water - Cohesion/sponginess Gigi: 'So how long for... would you start doing it regularly? How often should that be? How long should that be? The way I see, vipassana would be identifying what is happening while you are in that space. Bhante: 'It's a balancing act. If you let the clock rule what you are doing...see, that's also a very Western thing to be doing... on life, and onto phenomena . The more reflexively the vipassana counter-acts 'the-things-that-hide-wisdom-insight [vipassana]' the better. When we are cloudy , so delusion is there, this is the time vipassana is going to counteract and remove it. But if you are already actually feeling very clear and very bright ...you don't really need it. When you have agitated mind , when you have restless , clouded and scattered mind, lack of composure, lack of calm that's the time you need Samatha. So it's a verb. The verb is a response to a condition. When you can replace any form of cloudiness or ego or the main group of ego ones... which are 'restlessness, doubt, egomind-state, and then conceits that go with it, vanity and jealousy. That is for how long, that is how regular and how often.
Art Meditation using : Kasina sphere visualisation & Contemplation of the Four Noble Truths
Materials: [ Four sheets of paper each, plenty of crayons, pastels, pencils, magazines, some music of various rhythms and styles ] Music - soft drone, Delta rhythm, sitar, warm washes, temple bells shimmering , flute, rainstick, female vocal Bhante: 'Surrender to your feeling. Without any effort. Allowing and surrendering. Let effort go out of your body. Out of your neck and shoulders. Let your mind conjure up a spherical ball made of clay ... terra cotta Smooth. As if there was a moon or a little planet and it's just hovering there. Weightless. If you tried pushing it, it would be unable to be pushed. Either from above or below. Feel it's smoothness and it's hardness. Maybe it's warm in some places, cool in others. It has that pinkish orange look. Terra Cotta. If it helps use counting. Like this 'Earth one, Earth two, Earth three....' and carry on going with the counting. So it helps you to be absorbed, focussed. You can carry on up and up, up to like fifty. That's nearly a minute of concentrating. If you wish to use the ancient word that the Buddha would have used in the PÄ li language - it is Pathavi [ pronounced Patawee ] Pathavi one.... Pathavi two.... Pathavi three.... Pathavi four.... contemplate the ancient nature of earth, the timeless nature ... honouring, with gratitude, with no separation, this is our nature, the Mother Nature, the life nature, it gives solidity, protective, gives growth, gives nature, life-giving,... and then when you are ready... begin to transfer your attention to this question of
Disharmony... Life's disharmony... Suffering... Sorrow... there are many kinds... grief and sorrow... loss... simply ageing ... there's the nature to decay... and there is all kinds of ways it manifests There are imperfections in life. These flaws, these glitches, and how we struggle with that nature. And what we have been going through our selves, a time to look with absolute sincerity, into your memory and heart, and experience. To breath your truth... [ Music - Brian Eno -David Byrne - Mountain of Needles ]
So addressing this awareness , is one of the keys to happiness. Being absolutely real and realistic. Being sensitive to what it is you are passing through. What you see and in you, and reflected in your friends and family and inner life. So, each taking a paper. Then allow yourself to explore. Without direction. There's no right and no wrong way to do this... completely free to explore. [ music - Brian Eno-David Byrne 'My Life in the Bush of Ghosts' 'Come With Us', a wonky arhythmic piece, with ghostly voices ] Everyone draws and scribbles. [ music - Peter Gabriel ' Passion' 'A Different Drum', a rolling, ecstatic drum rhythm instrumental] Images on the theme of 'Dukkha...Suffering, chaos, disharmony, discord ... ] Each image is numbered one to four. The first image is titled 'One - Suffering, chaos' Then we meditate and then look at 'Causes of suffering'. [ bell ]
[ music - Chill Out, KLF - ambient sounds of jungle or forest with sound effects, trains passing, ship-radio ] Bhante: 'So be at home in your skin. Feel the body. Feel your breathing. Be at home with the full body-breath. Full body, feel the whole length of the breath.
[ music - 'We're justified and we're ancient, I hope you'll understand' ] Just being in the present moment. Feel your weight, pressing to the floor. And return to breathing. Calmly release and relax all control all sense of holding Surrendering to now. No guarding, no defending. Suspended in the now. Without any rhyme or reason. No need to get, no need to prove... Nothing to achieve or attain. Nothing to avoid. No competition. Somehow appeared in the space in front of you a magical ball of water.
And bears it's ancient, ancient name 'Apo' . Water is something like our most ancient friend. The water on this planet goes round and round and round. All water on the planet is ancient . So this is a sacred honouring of our ancient sacred friend...of which we are made up, by which we are surrounded, by clouds, by rain, by rivers, by ocean,...in leaves, in the trees, in the ground... Apo. When we were in the womb in the mother we were surrounded by this and enfused with this. Apo. Water, water, water... Clear water. Reflecting water. Water that responds to our love. If we are kind and send loving thoughts towards water it's crystals become beautifully angelic. On the tiniest levels., sensitive, it is creative, it flows, it surrounds all obstacles and takes on any form. It enters into a vessel, and becomes that shape. It enters into a rock-pool and it takes on the shape of that rock pool. The body is just like that. More than three-quarters of the body is made up of water. Our eyes are water . We are sensitive if we don't have quite enough we can become in pain if we have too much we can become imbalanced. We can float in water, swim in water, it is our friend , nourishing... It's the sign of emotionality, of compassion, of creativity... of love ...water It's compatible with the moon and lunar energy in many views ...water Just as streams flow down into the ocean and become one with the ocean It is the nature of water , nourishing ... to be loving, to be kind... Water vibrates with music... patterns, rippling,
[ music - sounds of aboriginal or Tibetan over-tone chanting and sheep calls ]
Water is one of the unifying aspects as well.... the air around us has water within it ... our bodies have water within... so in a way we are all interconnected through water Water is considered sacred - it can be considered holy. The sign of life. Turn you mind to what causes... the suffering , we looked at chaos... we looked at disorder, disharmony... what upholds it, and supports it What have we seen? What have we seen in our friends? In our lovers... What have we seen in our parents...? What have we seen in our children? What is it saying to us? We hear clues... we see insights... Feel those responses in your body Allow your inner wisdom , allow your heart to talk to you Allow yourself to feel it's wisdom Allow your heart to open , just allow it to breath to breath and be here in Bahay Kalipay... Allow yourself to hear what it's been trying to say. Without force and without pressure, Listen to it's wounds. Listen to it's memory's echoes. Listen to it's rebalancing. Feel it's nourishment through the freedom of being here. Look at Causes, causes... Then allow yourself in your own time to make images allow images to be there [ Passengers Eno-U2 - Always Forever Now ] So what's bonding it, what's binding it, what's anchoring it? What's pining it in? What's boxing it in? What's clinging? What's the stale? What's the stagnant? What are you slave to? What's making you fear? Let's do imagery of what you start to become aware of. Let's work on the paper then.
Om Dalai Lama [ bell ] Causes of Suffering [ Dalai Lama chant ] OM triyambakam ya jāmahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam, [ om ] urvārukamiva bandhanān mr-rityor-mokshiya mā mrritāt.
Bhante: ' So just calming. Feeling the breath first of all. Feel the air pass through your chest . Just really getting out of the way and surrendering. Letting the sky flow through your body. Nobody home. Just like the wind breezes through this building with no walls . Let the breath arrive and depart with no owner. Without anyone owning that breath. Let the body simply arise and depart by itself - limitless.
Simply surrendered breathing. Let everything come to you. Without any craving, any effort, any desire. Simply by trust. Pure trust. In the nose lining there are hundreds, maybe thousands of tiny hairs . They are like ricefields, receiving cool evening breezes., which came from far away . Breezing and brushing , soothing , stroking. This is this, breath... enjoy the safety, enjoy the simplicity. Every moment a moment of your life. Empty. No attachments. No-one else here. Just ancient friends. The Breath. Breathing. The air. The ocean. The mountains. The sky. Bringing us into the moment. Since countless, countless, countless lives . Feel the sufficiency. Feel you are content, each tiny moment. Feel how precious a moment is. Allow your body to open also... not to be dense...
Not to be depressed, oppressed. Feel how universal you are. Start to wonder 'How appeared this sphere of fire?'
It was just here all along , in the room, right in front of us... golden, rippling flames... also in PÄ li we call it 'Tejo' sacred flame , illuminating, capable of creating and capable of destroying, capable of maintaining. There is quick fire and slow fire. Disturbing fire and very clear fire. Comforting fire. Reassuring fire. Nourishing fire. Beneficial fire. So many kinds of flame. Associated with passion, energeticness, exertion, dynamic, radiant, action, a firey spirit. This sphere is called a kasina. Kasina means something which is whole. In the past monks fought with dragons and they were said to be able to enter into to within this sphere of fire, in order to be able to protect themself against these dragons. So embrace and encompass this magical fire. Discover your imagination and will power. Ignite your creativity. Not to get anything. Notice that without attachment, without desire, so much the purer mind arises and we stay in the present moment. You are like a dragon, you are capable of making this sphere of fire. Trust yourself. Trust your heart and trust your mind. Fire is an ancient primary. A primary element. Tejo. The temperature of our body is from fire. The fire of the sun, the planet earth is full of fire, so our mind is at home with fire, our mind belongs with the elements. Accept, enjoy and be nourished by this primary element. Every cell of ours, in it's nucleus has fire of a kind, every atom. As a spirit of the universe this is yours, it is your element. No seperation. So within your world no separation. How we can illuminate others worlds with our firey nature. How our entertainment and energy can inspire , to create, to share... it's our energy to use. How useful it is. Get into contact with our elements. Constructive, creative... Fire How with passion, will power... effort, resourcefulness, creativity, we can create, and this is the Path to Enlightenment. The Path to Freedom from Suffering. Freedom from fear. Bright imagination. Bring your mind towards the ending of suffering. Ceasing .. without suffering, without disharmony.
[ music - bright acoustic Afro Cuban ballad ] No fear. No desire. No greed. Contentment. No doubt. No restlessness. No boredom. No being drained of energy. No illusions. Life in it's perfection. Life in it's natural rhythm. Harmony. Ending of suffering. Reach into your cellular memory. Reach into the present moment. Be with the breath in it's tiniest elements. Know your intuition. Between the tick and the tock... It's the not-burning aspect.
Not-burning means Nibbﾄ］a. Nirvﾄ］a. [ music bright African acoustic ballad ] It means contentment. It means the present moment. In sympathy with spiritual laws. It means trust. In your own time feel free to begin drawing. Playful... intuitive... Number Three - the Stopping or Ending of Suffering Whatever was Number One - this is the stopping of that. [ music - Viento y Tiempo - Kelvis Ochoa Cuban lively song ] [ music - extract from 'Awaken pt 2' loop - Yes ] Cool - This is going to be what's called Immaterial Spheres So they are not solid. They are just something holographic. They are pure colour. You can just go through the colours of the spectrum or the rainbow. It's also as if there was a rainbow in front of you, and your sphere is like a lens, you just look at different parts of it as it moves through. In the same way that a rainbow is just light playing through mist, with this you could also pass your hand just straight through this, it's not meant to be something solid like the other ones we did earlier. Those ones you could pick them up and knock them. This is something very etheral, very angelic, very celestial . You can start with the reds, go through the oranges, and on up through yellow, green , blue, blue-mauve, white and then light... so it's kind of like a spectrum. So, you can do it in your own time... or I can guide you. It's quite good to do it just in your own way. And play with it... look at the colours, try to see them, even you can imagine a little bit the room. As if this was there... you can do this if it helps with the eyes
open. See the room and then close the eyes a little bit . You can even take a look around and take in the surround and then do it. Something like you would film , with a movie camera around you... to remind yourself what it looks like. ..and then gradually start to play with this idea of these rainbow parts. Red part of the rainbow, orange part of the rainbow... Just practice gently doing it. Don't try to force. Just relax your neck. Relax your forehead. Relax the top of your head. Relax your back. And just allow it to slowly happen. Without too much strain. Remember you can use counting if it helps. You can give yourself a certain number on each colour. Like count up to Fifty on each sphere colour... Up to you. Go through until white ... also luminous light A loving luminous image. As if there's a warm gentle sun in front of you, glowing ... radiant sun... then a stage back would be like a moon glowing white... not so bright a stage back, blue... green and yellow ... orange and red... You can see the whole thing is something like a spectrum . We can reflect our brilliant white light is split by a prism into the rainbow colours.
If you can when you go to illuminous sphere the next stage beyond that is to look out . To all around, with your mind's eye. Just to remember, to recall and to see different objects in your area you are in. Posts and chairs, paper and cushions ...small things like this and gradually to increase your range around , recall things like around the room , where things are, where plants are, even the tiniest things but to use your own references . Just to keep turning your mind's eye around you, behind you, in front of you, to the sides of you ... looking around. And at that point you can also release the idea of the object. Just be experimenting with this , just like a fun, like a game, and to see around ... to remember downstairs, the things you passed, even the tiniest most insignificant things, a door-handle here, some slippers there, a bottle there, a mat... it doesn't matter. Like a jigsaw puzzle or like a smooth view a panning camera. So relax your head, relax your skull , relax your neck. Breath softly and contentedly during this time. Without fear... contentment. Also infuse in the mind some loving kindness, as if you were looking around in those different directions, you can be helping it along with love towards those directions. Towards beings that might be in those directions , from the tiniest, to the medium sized, to people and beyond. So when you are looking towards the direction of the ocean , you can be considering not only the horizon but also the fish and the birds and the cows, and the animals, and the families in those directions. People out working . Infusing the mind
with love and a little compassion. There are people who are suffering, there are animals and creatures, that are caught up ... they are not able to do what we can do, and they are not free , they are tied to one thing and another. So infusing the mind like this also gives the mind this celestial, other-worldly quality. When the body will pass away so the mind can carry on , and can carry attention to a celestial realm object like this. And this is how people become reborn in an angelic realm. Leaving the dense body behind. So for now we are just working with the angelic nature. Considering the Space Around is the name of this meditation. Ākāsa , space around or environment around, and it actually carries on to infinity, actually beyond the horizon, beyond the skies and on and on. So it's just for now to be increasing and enjoying the experience and the liberation , freedom and the sense of expansion. Exploring also this rainbow channel through the centre of the body, or through the centre of the mind. Allowing this sense of ascension, of the angelic realm. This non-material or immaterial progression. It's a kind of ascension through the realms. Seeing how loving kindness is done like that, by expanding it out to wards living beings, breathing conscious life entities in every direction whether we can see them or not , whether they are near or not, we can just be glad for them, loving them, aiming our love towards their heart centre in all different directions. This is one way we can get reborn into the Brahma realms, very high types of angelic realms where the creative and angelic beings dwell and become reborn delighting in creating things for other beings , delighting in life, having care, compassion and concern for the worldlings, protectors of the universe, guardians. By keeping this channel open we can also receive intuition, we can receive guidance, protection, and we can regularly read this type of celestial realm, we can listen in to intuition from the deva realm those guardians, protectors, guides . This nourishes our higher centres, our higher intuition, reminding us of our higher purpose, our higher faculties. These are often densified for us, we need reminding of our celestial nature and the way to the path to the celestial aspects of our selves. So this is an awakening meditation. Also, take time practicing to become aware when you are seeing, aware when you are hearing, aware of body. So this is awareness of consciousness . When there is hearing in the ears and the mind is listening to make that 'awareness of hearing' . When you eyes are active to become then aware , 'awareness of seeing' . Then this becomes meditation of a slightly different kind. Mainly we are not aware that we see, we just see, and we just use our seeing. This is awareness of eye-contact. We are actually aware that eyes are becoming activated from time to time. With body, awareness of body normally we take it for granted. Awareness of smelling, you may be smelling this citronella for mosquitoes. You might be aware of the taste . This is one way we become entangled and one way we become attached. So, awareness of awareness or awareness of consciousness happens when we really find the mind through this ascending process we can switch it to turn on to doing this... 'awareness of...' 'awareness of seeing', 'awareness of temperature' 'awareness of...everything!' 'awareness of irritation' 'awareness of pleasant feeling' 'awareness of unpleasant feeling' 'awareness of a mind-state...' You might get a mind-state come up...like desire, or anger, or restlessness, or ego arising. So then it's turning the mind to this, it's a subtle thing. So this balancing blend, this blend of concentrations and insight and awareness ...and the relationship
between the physical body and the mind - how they interplay in this way can also give us some hints and suggestions about the path to the end of disharmony, the path to the end of discord, the path to the end of any destructivity, uncreativity. Sometimes there's repeating cycles of addiction and things which are habitual. So here we can work with the Fourth image, this question of : The Path to the Ending of Suffering. That makes it sound a little bit delayed in time, the Path to.... like it's something that has a distance to it. It can just be the combination of livelihood, the way we communicate, the combination of actions.. [ Samma ajivo, samma vaca, samma kammanto ] that we make. So - 'with awareness' or 'without awareness' or dark actions or light actions Then, concentration - see how concentration effects our life ... the object we take and our ability to surrender to concentration. Our energy and effort, our awareness . Our intention and our views. So all of those factors combined, about the ending of discord and disharmony. The Fourth image will be this one. A way to reflect about what you are understanding. What your insight is revealing to you about the Path to the Ending of Suffering. See how it can encompass the post-dying experience. So it's like a big one where it can include the material realm and the spiritual realm but it can also be mundane affairs, supramundane releases, it can be reflections over and above your whole life purpose that you are doing and the way you are aiming. It's really in your creative encompass to sense what your intuition and your higher mind and your higher path reveals to you over your story, your journey, your life, your orb, your sphere.... Reflect in your own time and then use your paper to make a creative image ... [ music - Solsbury Hill - Peter Gabriel, bright upbeat, celebrating spiritual renunciation ] [ music - Miss Sarajevo - Passengers, U2 with Brian Eno ] Drawing... 'Ok, so, let's start to bring it to a close.
[ music - Dalai Lama chant ] Just bring yourself to focus and grounding in the body. What we can do is ,to settle the energy a bit before we go on, is take a break and then return and share. It helps us all to see each other's world a little bit. A bit of opening and sharing, a bit of self-disclosure. This is a journey and we've been on an inner journey, innerly, upwardly and outwardly
expanding. Also some new technique. So this is a classical meditation. These spheres are called Kasina, which means a whole a completeness. As you see how fragmented we are , you become aware of how uncomplete we are and how to reflect about that. In the same time start to slow things down, start to work with some thing which is quite simple. The word concentration can make it sound very strained, but the word samadhi means also well-composed, to be collected. It's like we have been mirrors which have been sort of shattered, and scattered out... we pull back together again. We start off like a spherical mirror just reflecting what's around us, but we get shattered and we get pushed out of shape. Sometimes, like a flexible mirror distorts when you push it , we can restore it back to it's natural shape. Simply by stilling, calming and collecting what we are doing, returning. When you think about "what was I?' 'Who was I?' 'What will I be?' or 'Can I be better?' or 'How do I compare?' These things naturally distort it. The Buddha discovered ways to recollect us calmly and bring everything back together again. We can get to a point where we only see what is actually there...and we directly reflect what is already there. It's this process of kasina that is helping to still it. It's not easy at first, the mind's not used to it and the mind gets frustrated or tries too hard, so we need to relax . So we can have a bit of a battle. Don't be surprised if it's too scattering... this is new territory for it. But also it shows how spiritual maturity works by this training, rather than always agitating. It gives us hope and it gives us a way, it gives us some tools as well. After we can share our pictures one by one. And how it was for us as well. However it was - there's no winners and losers in this .. it's just as it is. It's part of the healing to feel that you can throw your reality out there and listen to other people's too. It's partly therapeutic and it's partly teamwork as well, entering into it together.
So.... respect. Highest respect for doing this and travelling so far to come. I'm very honoured , very priviliged We can also close with a little chant along with this [ the Dalai Lama chant ] Just carrying this drone on. Softly with eyes closed. It's easy to join in the Dalai Lama's chanting.. It's the thought of oneness Find your natural level of the tune. There's not one - there's many. Just as your throat
naturally resonates. Keeping your attention in the heart centre. [ Dalai Lama chant ] OM triyambakam ya jāmahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam, [ om ] urvārukamiva bandhanān mr-rityor-mokshiya mā mrritāt.
[ repeat ]
Expand your mind and for all to share. The elderly and the poor. The sick. Spread your nourishing energy far and wide. For them to share and receive. Spread out your loving heart... for the protection of the people of Palawan. There is some tension recently between Chinese and Vietnamese shipping just near Palawan that we wish for peaceful harmony there. No violence. And with the environment that the island retains it's natural beauty and doesn't become spoilt. We wish for the prosperity of the people and their calm, contentment. Feel the yearning within our own hearts. For calm success, happiness and contentment. Feel your own prayer in your heart, your own wish, the longing for your own happiness... the happiness of our friends... this is the secret of self-acceptance ... you find almost all of the spiritual path is in self-acceptance ... love yourself including all of your wounds and all of your imperfections ... to be able to see through the self-criticism . Feel your body rhythms responding to nature... just the ocean air, all of the wildlife, the insects and birds sets us naturally into restoring a harmonious balance So with that note of gratitude lets relax and rest I Honour the highest within you'
recording - 140530_008
[Art Meditation check in]
Amila ' Obviously my artwork represents my understanding of what I thought was going on. I really struggled with this one to be honest with you. The entire time I was focussing so hard on what i thought chaos should look like. Then I would have to stop myself and say ' Hey, stop trying so hard, love, just see what it is.' I don't know why that happened to me... why I had a hard time thinking about chaos. .. or why I had a hard time thinking about suffering. I don't know. I just really struggled with it. But, as I tried to relax further and further , through the meditation and try to just quieten my mind and see if I could see anything rather than think it or feel it. So, was there something that I could see visually in my mind? So...in that moment... I guess I was experiencing chaos! And I was experiencing suffering, so that's what I felt I wanted to put down - was..what I was experiencing... and that was...well, so many colours that were inside me, that's what I felt like...' and it was very hard to identify them, so, I tried to scribble it in , but I knew there were a lot of colours inside me... But my mind felt like - 'What are emotions?' and I was trying to think about, what are my emotions? The different spectrum of emotions when you are feeling really happy, or when you are feeling really down, and then when you are feeling really neutral. And then I learnt, that if I can just be in the present moment , and I became in the present moment through my meditation , I realised that my emotions and my chaos wasn't experiencing any more... becoming aware of what I was experiencing, just being in that moment... it was very easy for me to know what I wanted to put down [ on paper ] because I came more into the present moment rather than be somewhere else ... which was ' Where am I going to be in five minutes...doing this drawing? What am I going to draw? ' So I guess life is like this in general at least for me anyway. When I'm not focussing in the present moment , when I'm focussing on something that has already happened or may happen...usually it doesn't happen it's just my mind thinking it may happen, then I experience chaos and suffering. I imagine that a lot of people will experience this kind of suffering by not being in the present moment. So that's what I drew guys. ' Ria ' For me it was the exact opposite of you! I was listening to the words and I was trying to internalise what chaos looked like but instead, for example, I had a picture of ... it's like a forest, it's actually a happy chaos for some reason, and I was like ' why? why? ' What came to mind was this song called 'Beautiful Mess' which is one of my favourite songs, by Jason Raz. When I first heard the song I felt like it was written about me, because the way he described everything about the person was a lot of negative things happening and yet he saw the beauty in it. So, it is chaotic in a lot of ways. It has a sun, it has a moon, trees, vines, water, rocks and it's a mess... but I saw beauty for some reason. And I just saw it. And that's what I put down. ' Gigi ' Well, this should be darker. But I couldn't find the colours. The image that I had in mind was a lot of tall buildings, which are supposed to be burning and really, really very dark and usually when I am in chaos I'm in that space... of darkness... Maybe it's the reason why I wanted to go back to meditation and somehow use meditation to find some light.
What they say, if you have all light around you , you don't see your light. But if you juxtapose it with darkness then you see the light. That's it.' Bhante ' There's something that's plaguing my mind recently. It's really 'un-me' , there was a guest who gave me about 400 Gig of documentaries and movies . One of them was kind of from 'my time'... when I left England the first time. And the documentary was all about things that I hadn't understood were going on in the culture. I knew the culture was in a mess but I never knew how it got like that. My mind is still digesting that. Also it's something that makes me very angry.. I know some people talk about the liver being the seat of anger... there's a lot of people doing liver-flushes ... It had that kind of feeling. A lot of adrenaline when you think of that kind of thing. This actually was a picture of a machine... they had actually made a machine of the way money flowed , all trip wires and clonking... things that bubbled up . But in the end they just ended up taking lots and lots of money away from people. Like not giving milk to children in schools. It's still bothering me and it has this hungry monster . When I think of chaos at the moment .. I'm still exploring that chaos. This is sort of deep, I don't normally do deep, or political, all that kind of economical stuff. I'm starting to find traction. So it's beginning to get deeper into some of the causes of suffering. Probably originally why I came to the Philippines in a way in the first place. That's a long story short. '
Number two. ' Cause of suffering' Amila [ Number Two image - 'Causes of Suffering' ] 'I'm trying to remember what i was feeling here. Ok, so, this could probably only make sense to me. This is like the stream of life, from the universe down to the earth and to wherever it's going to go next. The green area here. And then i think i thought about 'why do some people take things the way that they do?' or 'why do certain events in life effect people in a certain way?' and then they have a totally different effect on other people, even if it's the same event. So, do events themselves come with a meaning or do we give them meaning? Do we decide how we are going to interpret that information? I think we all walk around for each other , holding up mirrors to each other as well. Sometimes we see things that we like and sometimes we see things that we don't like. I guess when we see things that we don't like, whether it's about us or about the world that can cause a lot of pain for people and a lot of suffering for people. If we don't know how to deal with that energy we can really cause more pain to other people and it just spreads like that. Whereas we can take whatever we see and see the gift that it's giving us and take it into our hearts then it's almost like stopping that suffering from ever occurring and turning that troublesome thing back to you into something positive for the world. That was my idea of why there is suffering and pain in the world. I think it all depends on us. Any questions Bhante? '
[ all laughter ] Bhante: ' Why was I the only one bothered by the dripping tap? [ all laughter ] That's the mirror? Ahhh... I'm such a plumber at heart. That is cool, that reminds me of a Sutta . There was a story about a monk who died, and didn't know he'd died... he was exhausted walking up and down at night and he lent
against a post and he didn't fall asleep he actually passed out ...passed into death... and he was reborn in a Paradise and all the angels and devas came up to him and said 'Hey...congratulations, you are in paradise... ' and he said ' No! I'm not!' and they went and got a full-length mirror and showed him... and he said 'Oh No!' dash! 'I've been reborn in Paradise! I wanted to get Nibbana! dang! ' So he willed himself to go and visit the Buddha and said 'How do I get out of this one? ' So the Buddha explains how to get reborn out of Heaven so he can get to Nibbana.... the name of the story is The Full-Length Mirror. mm, How people cause and make what they are going to experience , and how they turn it into... Good one. ' Ria: ' Causes of Suffering.' um, ya, fear of the unknown. At least for me personally. ..and this is something that I've told you before and it's odd that I only discovered this about myself about a month or two ago. Because recently I've been doing a lot of thinking about , you know myself, my place in the world and how I can make a contribution to other people. I realised that a lot of causes of my suffering is I have this need to know. I have this need to know, this need to control... and when things do not go my way that's when I get in a bad mood. Like I have certain expectations , then if I'm not able to achieve them, i don't even get aware I've got them... when they are not met I just get in a bad mood. I end up just [ excuse the language ] bitching at somebody. You know what I mean? Which it eats me up when I realise I treated somebody badly, even if the person didn't really notice. And like me, I do have a lot of questions in my life... but my problem is, if I don't know I panic... and it gets me in a really ... not in a really dark place but sort of in an unhappy place temporarily. And there are other people who ... it's more I have a fear , because of fear of unknown... When you follow the crowd it's usually because it's a known thing that's the 'way of life' and that's the 'usual way of life' and with me i tend to kind of look upon them and look for validation...'am I doing the right thing?' I don't want to be apart from them because I don't want to ...make mistakes. And that's also coming from a fear of the unknown. But if you notice [ on the picture ] they are all faceless people whose opinion shouldn't really matter in reality but it did to me and that causes suffering... for me.' Bhante: 'Mmm it's right on... it's very specific. Very clear. ' Ria: 'And the colours are just darkness on my side and then it becomes lighter... ' Gigi: 'Um... causes... It was clear that the cause is basicly the individual. And the solution is also within the individual, so like sometimes, you carry a lot of problems, you carry a lot of worries but at the end of the day there is no basis for those worries. So therefore it is the same for world problems and the problems in the Philippines. It's all the individuals who run the government ,even us , the citizens who do not really care because you don't have a job... it doesn't really effect you directly... but it always boils down to the individual. ' Bhante: 'So the cause is the individuals internal actions? I didn't get it. '
Gigi: 'Yes' Bhante 'Or their apathy or their internal irresponsibility... ' Gigi: 'It always boils down to the person...' Bhante: ' ok - so... my turn. I can't remember... errr because a lot of these are much more coming from the gut, they are much more abstract... a lot of other weeks been sort of heady, ideasy, very conceptual... lot of these sort of made themselves as they went along. This one became a dragon...and the idea of having the red boundary .. don't know, it was just important that this negative energy had an outlet...that it had a container... like an anger outlet, but it had also a release mechanism. The release mechanism had turned into this dragon...i liked the idea of that...again this was about the UK... and it was looking at a landscape involving thousands and millions of people. This was a kind of city-scape... a lot of the clips I watched they were faceless crowds milling around, were shoving and pushing in Moscow or somewhere or some riot in Leningrad ... it has that kind of quality about it... but it has this over-dragonish thing going on . These just represent different documentaries. These were just connections - then it makes sense. I like the fact that it doesn't really make sense either. Just getting it out, just responding... ' next...' Amila: 'The Third picture...It was...'Calming?' right? Bhante: 'Yes. Well... kind of... ending of disharmony so i suppose that's one way to say it. ' Gigi: 'Stopping.' Bhante: 'Yes. Cessation, ending... of chaos, disorder, disharmony, disorder...' Amila: 'So my 'Calming' was that... [ shows picture ] Whenever I'm personally not feeling calm I always find if someone has truly upset me to the point where you feel that heat inside you ...and you just feel 'Oh my God, I'm so angry right now' and even though you know it has nothing to do with you . Sometimes you can't help how you feel by some people's behaviour. Something I've been practicing lately and found it has a 100% success rate is if you send love to that person. Usually I'll do it by just closing my eyes and imaging love in whatever way comes to me. I will send it to that person as an energy despite how they made me feel, what they did , none of that matters any more. Brcause I feel that person needs love, and needs to be reminded of what love feels like. Because I really feel that love dissipates emotions of.. when you are
feeling very tense... like anger, guilt and regret and frustration. I feel that love really overshowers all that... doesn't block it out , it's more powerful than all that , it's like shining a bright light in a dark room. So I feel that's what love does. I feel that when I do that with people the minute I see them, they changed towards me and nothing's really changed in reality we haven't spoken , but they'll be completely different with me. So I really feel this has some power to it . So [ picture ] there's a lot of people standing down here. It represents my own personal life but it also represents .... [ emotional wave ] they are tears of happiness too, but it represents the whole world and a lot of the people who suffer and a lot of people who suffer due to our ignorance too ... like you said - it comes from the individual ... if we choose to turn a blind eye because we are too comfortable with our own lives or we don't want to change the way we think because we don't want to face our fears or whatever it is. It really has an effect on the world . Sometimes the people with the least say in the world, like children end up suffering because of people who should be doing more. So I honestly feel if we loved more it would help calm the causes of suffering...' Bhante: 'Well done that took courage.' Ria 'With me, End of Suffering, right? So basicly it says it all... love prevails. I feel that when all else fails, fill your heart with love...and it will get compounded within you, not just in you but among everyone around you ... whether it's human beings , nature or ...' Gigi: 'What stops... suffering. Taking care of the environment... It's like Back to Basics. I mean the environment nourishes us but if we do not really care then it will comes back to us again. Again it's also..us.' Bhante: 'I have a confession to make [ heart picture ] - I copied this one... [ laughs] [ lot of jokes... how everyone's doing heart pictures ] and this was largely... recently..you know when someone on Facebook just adds you as a friend ... and there was a woman who was from Sarawak .. and she's a real Muslim, you know with the headscarf .. and I was a bit suspicious... why's she adding me as a friend? Then the more i got talking with her she was actually really impressed with Buddhists ... and I was like 'Really? It's not a trick is it?' and she was telling me about the Tzu Chi people that she'd seen who do like disaster relief in areas in Indonesia . Then she was sending photos of herself standing in front of some temples and she was obviously really sincere. She was an orphan, she had lost both parents and now she's a single mum. She wanted to call me 'Father'... which was a bit of a blow to the ego... I have to say, if i thought she was trying to date me ... 'Can I call you Dad?' [ laughter ] Then yesterday she posted a picture , a very naiive sort of painting, with a monk, and then a priest, then a muslim, almost as if done by children. Really nice and really simple. So that came to mind for some reason. I never draw pictures of 'my self' but when she sent I said - 'ah, there's us, the smiley monk' [ laughs ] Often these pictures they get abstract and they don't involve people but actually one of the things i like most about being around here, is there's tons of people everywhere. So i thought i'd do lots of smiley faces because that's what Philippines is like. Kids here,
kids there... there's another one over there, just loads of people everywhere . I thought it was very important to have them all linked up. There's a great sense of that here. It's something you just can't put your finger on or touch but it's just there .When you are living in a place where it isn't going on you really know about it. But again it's intangible. I also like these pictures where it's not an abstract thing it's a 'today - yesterday' more [ knocks on the wood ] like that. ' Amila: 'I like it' Ria: 'I thought that was marijuana on the side.'
[ laughter ]
Bhante: [ laughs ] That's Mary Juana and her children on the side there. They are meant to be a palm tree but pretty hard to draw... [ laughter ] Huge marijuana! No. I can't draw palm trees. ' Amila: 'Back to me... the last one was The Path to the End of Chaos... so I guess going through the whole meditation what I learnt was really a spectrum of moving from place to place and i think in the middle we are at total peace with everything that is. I don't think that that means that we just have to accept stuff that is bad... I don't think we should just say well, it is what it is. But we have to accept that it is happening for a reason. Whether we are going to learn from that reason or not is entirely up to us. I often find that if you refuse to learn from something in your life it will keep on popping up in different ways and different times, with different people, until you realize , 'wow...i should stop'...and realise why this is happening to me. I don't think suffering is bad - i think there is a great gift inside suffering and pain... a big gift inside things we perceive as 'negative'. Usually we find this out post.. or after the event... so once we've learnt from it and come out the other side of the rainbow...'ah, i see why that happened, i would never change a single thing...' because it got me to where i am right now... so me pesonally i don't regret or I'm very grateful for any suffering I've come across in my life or any pain that I've personally witnessed. Yes, it was painful and sometimes you wish you hadn't seen certain things or known about certain things but I think if you are opening to learning what it's trying to tell you or open to thinking ' I don't know what this means right now but i'll just accept it and take it with you, you never know when that's going to become handy for you. There are things that came up three years ago in my life that only make sense now. So i think that's my idea of the Path to the End of Chaos is our awareness of what does pain and suffering mean to us how do we feel about it, and 'What gift can it offer you?' And then you can be in the neutral zone. ' [ lots of noisy laughter and joking ] Ria: 'So back to the end of Disharmony... all I saw was peace and tranquility... and though the drawing may not necessarily show that but.. this is just like brightness - these are like those flowery white vines,
that's really what I saw. I went to my peaceful happy place. ..and this is what I saw. Brightness and peace. ' Gigi: 'Right mine. So, I just saw a lot of diamonds, with a space inside that looked like eyes... and maybe the Path to End Chaos .' Bhante: 'Actual diamond crystals or the diamond shape? ' Gigi: 'Crystals. But there is a space inbetween ... inside. In the middle. I don't even know what it means. ' Bhante: 'You don't have to get a meaning. Somethings come very clear and very specific and very self-explainatory and somethings just show up and you don't even know why... So that's fine. Anything that does crop up in the mind is not to sort of back away from it. Is just to be with it and observe it or even become one with it. That's a very good thing that one teacher taught me . The more weird the things come up sometimes it's more important to learn how to do that. I did one workshop in London called Imageworks . We went round the group-circle... the teacher said 'Ok, get an image...' And everyone went into their thing... and I couldn't get anything. I was like ...'Everyone's looking really serious ...' I could not get anything . All I could get was a sort of flurry of things , that wouldn't stop ... there were Buddhas, and devas, and angels, Pharohs, triangles, patterns, and everything .. and it wouldn't stop . And then I said 'I can't get anything it just won't stay still.' The teacher said 'Well, visualise all that flurry happening on a screen ... ' and I was like 'Yeah, I can see that ...' like a black screen with it all going on. Then they said 'Ok, now look over the top of the screen, or look round the side of it as if it's a cinema screen' and i did...'Yes?' and they said 'And what was round there?' ' I said 'Nothing ...' so they said 'There wasn't nothing there.' So I said 'Well, there were some curtains, some chip wrappers, and an empty coke can...' She said 'The coke can' I said 'I'm not being an empty coke can....' Someone over there is being a dolphin, someone's being a mountain... another a soaring eagle... 'I'm not being a coke can....no way' [ laughs ] The whole weekend was based on me being a crumpled coke can. So she said 'How does it feel to be a coke can' So I learnt to feel it, how it felt... and I would speak, after flooding my awareness throughout the object. I found myself saying : 'I feel discarded , obsolete , i feel really neglected....' and when I looked around everyone was gripped with this sharing staring at me... and it actually became a really good vehicle for explaining it. So this was from actually becoming the thing. Any shattered or displaced energy in your psyche it's really good to allow it to arise but then to really fully infuse and embody it. Some early teacher didn't teach me that ... I would say something similar to that experience and they would get into a panic and say 'Really?? Oh no! It's gone wrong!'
I would be thrown into confusion, asking 'Are you sure? What did I do wrong?..' They would make you even more afraid that something's gone wrong with the process. You can't go wrong, but you can only become afraid of it. You can merge with it - if you do that then you are loving it. If you back away from it you split your mind in two. And thus you try to run away from the mind itself. My Fourth picture Path to End of Chaos... This part was a meditator head, this was a clear path and lots of radiant beings, I love those visualisations, the rainbow one, the exercise of doing it is really relieving , light-weight and you feel the energy of people and go really clear . It's also the idea that the physical body and all the things we get attached to will go .... you two lying there you looked like corpses [laughter ] Just the sight of bodies and the thought we all leave the body at some point this is only a temporary vehicle. When you visualise it's almost like a rehearsal at some point your mind's going to have to leave the body and move on. I do see the Path to the End of Suffering somewhat having those qualities , very meditative qualities that when you do get access and release and your lifestyle is conducive to you being free of bonds and attachments that you can easily let go of it all in that kind of transcendental way . Such a delight, such a privilige. ' All: [ sounds of satisfaction and agreement ] ........................................................................ Meditation advice From the Jungle Book , [ Walt Disney's version of the book taken by Rudyard Kipling from Ancient Jataka Tales of the Past Lives of the Buddha.] [ recording 140531_001 [Bare Necess.] Mowgli sits down near some rock with his head low untill he hears sounds from nearby bushes. Baloo comes in] Baloo (singing): Doo-bee doo-bee doo-bee dee-doo Well, it's a doo-bah-dee-do Yes, it's a doo-bah-dee-do I mean a doo-be doo-bee doo-be Doo-be doo-bee doo And with-[he sees Mowgli] Well now, ha-ha! What have we here? [he sniffs Mowgli] Hmm.. Hey, what a funny little bit of a-[Mowgli slaps him] Ow! Mowgli: Go away!
Baloo: Oh boy, I've seen everything in these woods, what have I run on? What a pretty thing this is! Mowgli: Leave me alone. Baloo: Well now, that's pretty big talk, little britches Mowgli: I'm big enough [He starts hitting Baloo in the tummy repeatedly but Baloo doesn't almost notice that] Baloo: Ha-ha.. tsk-tsk-tsk. Pitiful. Hey, kid, you need help. And old Baloo is gonna learn you to fight like a bear. Now come on, I'm gonna show you. Grrr. [He starts to dance around and Mowgli too, mimicking Baloo's moves] Ha-ha. Yeah! All right now kid, loosen up, get real loosen, then start to weave, weave a little, now move, that's it. Now give me a big bear growl, scare me! [Mowgli makes a barely audible growl] Baloo: Tsk-tsk-tsk. Oh boy. I'm talking about like a big bear! [Baloo makes a growl which rocks the jungle to the bottom and even Bagheera who was walking away all this time hears it.] Bagheera: He's in trouble. I shouldn't have left him alone! [Bagheera runs back to Mowgli] Mowgli: Grrr. Baloo: GRRR! Mowgli: Grrr. Baloo: A big one, right from your toes. Mowgli: How's that? [Bagheera arrives] Mowgli: Grrr. Baloo: Ha-ha-ha, ya, you're getting it, kid. Bagheera: Oh no! It's Baloo! That shiftless stupid jungle bum. [Baloo and Mowgli dance around again] Baloo: Weave about, now look for an opening. Keep movin', keep [Mowgli takes some swings at Baloo's nose but misses] Ha-ha! Ya, you're getting it kid, ha-ha. Come on, that's it. Ha-ha-ha! He's a dandy! [Baloo playfully slaps Mowgli which sends him rolling around and leaves knocked out on the ground] Bagheera: Heh-heh. Fine teacher you are, old Iron Paws. Baloo: Oh thanks, Bagheera. Bagheera: Yeah, tell me, tell me after you know your pupil senseless, how do you expect him to remember the lesson? [Mowgli at this time already came to and sits on the ground, shaking head] Baloo: Well, I, I didn't mean to lay it on him so hard. [Mowgli walks to Baloo, though kinda unsteadily] Mowgli: I'm not hurt. I'm all right. I'm a lot tougher than some people think. Baloo: You better believe it! Now let's go once more. Now you keep ciclin' or I'm gonna knock your roof in again, you better keep movin' -[Mowgli hits Baloo into lower jaw] Ooph! [Baloo playfully falls down] Hey! Right on the button! [Mowgli climbs on him, occasionally tickling him with his feet] Ah, ha-ha, no, no-no, now you're tickling. ha-ha-ha [Mowgli starts tickling him deliberately] No, no, we don't do that here, no cheating, no, you're tickling, I can't stand tickling, heh-heh-heh. Help, Bagheera! Bagheera: Now that's all he needs. More confidence. Mowgli: Give up, Baloo?
Baloo: I give up, I told ya. Oh, I give-[Mowgli stops] Hey, ha-ha. You know something? You're all right, kid. What do they call you? Bagheera: Mowgli. And he's going back to the man-village right now. Baloo: Man-village? They'll ruin 'im! They'll make a man out of 'im. Mowgli: Oh, Baloo, I want to stay here with you! Baloo: Certainly you do. Bagheera: Oh? And just how do you think you will survive? Baloo: "How do you think you will" - What do you mean "How do you think you will"? He's with me, any, And I'll learn him all I know Bagheera: Well, heh, that shouldn't take too long. [Baloo glares at Bagheera and then turns to Mowgli] Baloo: Look, now it's like this, little britches. All you've got to do is... (singing): Look for the bare necessities The simple bare necessities Forget about your worries and your strife I mean the bare nevessities, Are Mother Nature's recipies That bring the bare necessities of life Wherever I wander Wherever I roam I couldn't be fonder Of my big home The bees are buzzing in the tree To make some honey just for me When you look under the rocks and plants And take a glance at the fancy ants Then maybe try a few... Mowgli: You eat ants? Baloo: Ha-ha, you better believe it! And you're gonna love the way they tickle. [Rock almost falls on Mowgli] Bagheera: Mowgli, look out! Baloo: The bare necessities of life will come to you Mowgli (trying to catch an ant): When? Baloo: They'll come to you Look for the bare necessities The simple bare necessities Forget about your worries and your strife I mean the bare necessities That's why a bear can rest at ease With just the bare necessities of life Now when you pick a paw-paw Or a prickly pear Mowgli (pricking finger): Ow! Baloo: And you prick a raw paw Well, next time beware Don't pick the prickly pear by the paw When you pick a pear try to use the claw But you don't need to use the claw When you pick a pair of the big paw-paw Have I given you a clue? Mowgli: Golly, thanks, Baloo! Bagheera: Paw-paw, ha! Of all the silly gibberish Baloo (pulling Bagheera by the tail): Come on, Baggy, get with the beat! The bare necessities of life will come to you Mowgli: They'll come to me!
Baloo: They'll come to you [Music from the song goes on through the whole following scratching scene] How 'bout scratchin' that old left shoulder while you're up there, Mowgli? Now just a hair lower.. There, right there. That's it. Ahh.. This is beautiful. That's good. Kid, we've got to get to a tree, this calls for some big scratch! Mowgli: You're lots of fun, Baloo! [Baloo is now scratching against a tree] Baloo: Right on it.. Yeah! That's delicious! Oh, ooo! Just a little bit-mmm.. yeah.. ha-ha.. ooo. [he pulls the tree from the ground finally and scratches by its trunk] Mm... mmm... ha-ha.. ooo. yeah! [Baloo, satisfied, lets himself fall into water] Oh man, this is really livin'. So just try and relax. Yeah. [Mowgli gets on his tummy] Cool it. Fall apart in my back yard. 'Cause let me tell you something little britches. If you act like that bee acts, uh-uh. You're working too hard. And don't spend your time looking around for something you want, that can't be found (singing): When you find out you can live without it And go along not thinking about it And I'll tell you something true The bare necessities of life will come to you. Bagheera walks away: Ahh.. I give up. Well I hope his luck holds out. Baloo: Mowgli, how 'bout you singing? Baloo and Mowgli: Look for the bare necessities, The simple bare necessities Forget about your worries and your strife Mowgli: Yeah, man! Baloo and Mowgli: I mean the bare necessities, That's why a bear can rest at ease With just the bare necessities of life Baloo: Yeah! Baloo and Mowgli: With just the bare necessities of life Mowgli: Yeah, man! Baloo: Ha-ha-ha. Beautiful. That's real jungle harmony. Mowgli: I like being a bear. Baloo: That's my boy. You're gonna make one swell bear. Why, you even sing like one. [Why they drift downstream, monkeys above plot Mowgli's stealing] Baloo (going to sleep): Doo-be-doo...
....................... Amila: 'I love that. What's the movie called? ' Bhante: ' Jungle Book.' Amile: ' I'm going to watch that together with my daughter. We love watching cartoons together. Bhante: 'That's a real classic. A pearl story, that's just one little bit of it. Like I say, it's actually a
two and a half thousand year old story but somehow he's taken it and moulded it and then Walt Disney have Disneyfied it on top of that... so the moral of that is the simplicity and not straining too hard and trying to overcomplicate it. Even the meditations they might sound a bit complicated but once you've got the hang of them it's letting it more relax and keeping it simple... and that makes it work. ...and then applying that to eveything. The simpler a life you can get ... Communal living actually is much simpler. I used to live in a street and it suddenly occured to me there were like for seven houses there were seven everything, seven wifis, seven ovens, seven washing machines, it didn't really makes sense. But here one wifi for twenty people.. one fridge, two people cooking for everybody... so it really makes sense . Anyway we can really simplify it. The more you do that the closer you get to the Dhamma, natural truths, spiritual truths or laws - which leads to happiness. That's the most important thing about it, it's not just any old natural law. It's just the one which leads to contentment, leads to happiness, leads to peacefulness., leads to wisdom and that's very important.
There's a very good teaching that has eight factors and in a way it sums up a lot about the teaching. It is where you have : Pleasure and Benefit foolishness and wisdom So it's about where you have Fools and Wise people, and foolishness and wisdom. So everybody has a sort of mixture, of a bit of both. So, in any activity you are considering or relationship or any pursuit so you can consider about this.
The Buddha said that someone who is dominated by foolishness will do the first one, which is 1 - Something which is not even pleasurable ... and it's not even beneficial. So, it's something like stealing money to take heroin or something similar 2 - And there are things which are pleasurable... but not beneficial. Fools will do this as well, the wise people will avoid the first two. and then 3 - There are things which are not pleasurable but they are beneficial ... such as a hard study , that's tedious but you get through it and you get the benefit at
the end. Then you can get the better wage or so on. and then 4 - Things which are both beneficial and pleasurable and a fool won't even go near these things. They avoid them. Wise people will strictly stick to doing these things. So sometimes meditation is a little like that, painstaking in training at first but the benefits that you get are very long term. Well, all of you have made the journey to get here ... it means a hard work to get there and some planning and some sacrifice and some other things you could have been doing. So I really respect you all doing that. And so the aim of that exercise is to associate with the wise and then to learn beneficial things that are going to last you a lifetime, not just a short-term benefit, or a short term pleasure. It's pleasurable and beneficial but it's also long term beneficial.
Literally the meditation I'll show you this morning when I'm on my deathbed i'll be doing that one. Of the, maybe sixty to eighty types of meditation or more I've tried this is the clearest.
review I want to review some of the theory and then some practical. We were doing something called 'Kasinas' The Earth Kasina - we were doing it for about two minutes. and then we were looking into, it's called the First Noble Truth ... the Truth of Disharmony, of Chaos, of Disorder, and that it exists and conditions can come about which make it exist. And then we were doing our art And then the Water Kasina and then looking at the second Noble Truth - The Causes of Suffering, Chaos, Disharmony and Disorder. And then a Fire Kasina And then talking about looking into the third Noble Truth the Ceasing of... ceasing of the causes actually , and then the ceasing of the causes leads to the ceasing of this.
And then we were doing the spectrum... red, yellow, blue , white and then light And then looking at the Fourth Noble Truth - The Path to Ceasing This kind of meditation, so far, certainly with these spheres is a calming meditation but when you start to investigate already you start bordering on insight meditation. Calm... to calm down that's called Samatha or the verb 'samthassa'. [ pronounced Samatta ] Like when your jealousy rages up and you manage to calm yourself down, and just put it aside, those are just suspicions, they are not warranted when you think about it , it might just be a coincidence... you calm yourself down. The verb to do that is 'samatha' you 'samathassa yourself down'. These kind of meditations are many they usually involve deliberately turning your mind on to something like when we did the loving kindness meditation - we deliberately think about anaimals in the ocean, or in the air . You deliberately do that and that's one type of meditation - but you deliberately take something in your mind and focus on it as a subject . So it's the same when you take these spheres, you deliberately are conjuring something up , applying your mind to it, and keeping your mind on it. When you investigate into disharmony, chaos, disorder ... impermanence, change, all those truths or laws this starts to work towards vipassana. The Four Great Efforts. Vipassana is about retraining yourself based on reality. So first it's a reality check , and then it's reflection, wise consideration and then it's reviewing your choices and then it's abandoning... That's very important, it's realizing : 1 - what's troublesome, 2 - and abandoning it and 3 - realizing what's beneficial and 4 - cultivating it. These are called The Four Great Efforts. These are typically Wrong Speech or ... like troublesome speech such as sarcasm, you might see that ' I do that sometimes, I rip into someone a bit... like you were saying Ria, you do something hurtful... 'I'll abandon that... ' - like that . It shows up to me quite clearly , ' I'm a bit miserly I'll cultivate more generosity' or 'I drink too much, I'm going to back off on that - or I'm going to take a look at my diet. So, whatever it is when you identify something as a trouble-making factor and then you abandon it this is playing with these things - Ceasing the Causes which are upholding Disharmony, Disorder...
Insight into Inner and Outer Dangers [Ä€dÄŤnava] Vipassana is insight into what's happening that's dangerous or wretched for you in terms of ... 1 - Everyone can review in on their expectations , Self Criticism, their expected standard of themselves - and they might say, I can do better than this, I let myself down ...and so on. And then you abandon that. 2 - Or the Danger of Criticism from friends about your reputation. That they are dissapointed in you. People don't what that, they want to be esteemed by their friends and family. 3- And then there's the Law. The police and prison. Sometimes you've got a boyfriend and he's dealing cocaine on the side, so you realise there is real dangers here. In terms of The Law. 4 - And then kammic Law. Say, someone wants to take you fishing... well, it's killing actually isn't it? You are sticking a hook in something's mouth. You realise that there may be kamma involved. Or someone wants to seduce you into adultery or something similar. Then you realise this could have a consequence later on, and I won't be able to walk down the street comfortably and so on.
So these kind of dangers show up in Vipassana - but they don't when you do Samatha. You can go to the ocean walk with headphones on listening to metta chanting and radiating love, but you won't have any of these type of insights and reflections on habit and life. You'll just feel blissful and engrossed , absorbed in the ideas. But in vipassana you tend to 'leave the lid off' and allow yourself to just look without saying what the 'content' is going to be, of your thoughts and concepts. So stuff can arise up and then the inner mind starts revealing stuff that is urgent and is impellent, or is looking for attention. Things that have been pushed out , they start to come - just some deep and some unresolved causes of suffering surface during that time. Because you are leaving yourself very open you can allow them to surface... and some times with their answers ...sometimes we don't look at the fact that we are depressed or something and so the real cause underneath it and the cause underneath that doesn't show up because we are so busy suppressing it. Suppressing through diet, through eating, sugar, or movies or anything like that we are keeping things out of the way. When we look openly stuff can surface. It's not the aim to 'dig stuff up' at all , it's not like a psycho analysis but that can happen. Then the underlying roots of some forms of ego, desire and hatred can just be uprooted. Through just releasing. Ceasing acting by fear and suppression. So, we're going to do that this morning. Which is Vipassana technique, which we haven't done yet. We have done some of the tranquility meditations . There's actually about forty of them. So the first ten are Earth Kasina, that's one meditation... you can only just do that one meditation. You can go on a three week retreat where they just concentrate on Earth Kasina , that's all they'll do. Typically also they'll get a disc of clay and then they put it
there and you stare at it for ages then close your eyes then ... I find that's not really neccessary nowadays. People are used to photographs , you can use photographs to picture it, in those days they didn't have them. So, Earth, Water, Fire and Air - Air we didn't do but you can. Red, Yellow, Blue, White and then Space Around ...we did that one, looking around. And then Viﾃｱﾃｱﾄ］a is where you start to just say you notice that you are hearing, you notice that you are aware of temperature, you notice thoughts and planning, you notice tasting, you notice smelling - you notice the mind going to those channels - that's actually Vipassana. That's the basis of vipassana that you are able to just sit and do that and watch that the attention is now on the ear, the attention is now on the eye, the attention is now wandering into the past, is it thinking in the past, now it's planning, and you monitor it and watch it as it goes to them. These next ten are Unbeautiful Meditations. Where you look at the Unbeautiful nature. Next there is Contemplating the Buddha. Contemplating his Teaching. Contemplating highly developed teachers. So even if you think about the Dalai Lama, just wonder about him, all that he has been through and all that he is doing that is typically something like that. Then these ones, Metta, Karuna, Mudita and Upekkha... Love, Karuna which is Compassion and Empathy, Mudita is Joy , and Upekkha is calm . When you are listening to Imee Ooi guided meditation on love you cover a big sweep of those. It goes through them. You feel the mind-state that starts to arise up is very wholesome very awake, very aware to all people around. So those are a sample of at least seventeen of the Forty - so those are Calming ones. What we are going to do today is bridging with one of them, which is Anapanasati, breathing in and out meditation in the nose. Go over to doing Vipassana, I want to explain how to do that - it's a very important one to go away with . As I said, this one would be the one I would be doing on my death bed. I had a very good session in Malaysia, I realised after the session .. I had a had a group of fifteen people or so, I said goodnight to them all - I just really went in the zone, this had really been a good session. And I went to bed , which was on the third floor and I didn't put the Air Conditioning on, for one, but somehow I normally I usually would wake up like here about five. I woke up and looked at the clock and I had slept very differently, something was odd and I jumped up 'it's eight o'clock!' and people come to deliver breakfast then. So I jumped up, I got to the top of the modern-style stairs ... next thing I knew I was on the floor, looking at the ceiling, I'd fallen asleep? So I stood up, next thing I knew I was at the bottom of one of the staircases with a great big gash on my leg. I was like 'Wait a minute something is seriously wrong...' I thought I'd had a heart-attack or passed out. So I sort of went down stair by stair, bump bump bump. I was thinking, it's going to come, but you don't know how it's going to come... that's how death is, and it could have happened either in the sleep, whatever reason like a blood clot, or it could have happened just dropping down the stairs at any time. Once I talked to my father on the phone and he was asking in a way as if 'Are you going to come back... [ ie before my funeral? ] .. and I was realizing 'You might be coming here for mine!' We assume we've got so long and we just don't know. It can come at any time. So this is one of these meditations, we contemplate the unpredictability of death, but the certainty of it. For any person at any time.
SO let's look at how we do that. Earth, Water, Fire Then Red, Blue, Yellow, White Light ...Space and then Consciousness So, what we are going to do, which is what we didn't do yesterday. Which is contemplation of the Breathing. So, observing and contemplating where the air enters the nose. It's very comforting it's a very soft way to observe that area and merge with it. You can keep it there and you can also count if you wish. Breathing in and breathing out, that's like 'One' and just go to a low number like eight but just keep it low. I won't also guide you too much, otherwise you hear someone else and you are trying to catch up with their rhythm of their breathing. So i'll leave you a little bit to free-flow there. Then i'll guide you to concentrate on this area, upper lip and entrance to nose , and keep it there for about a minute or so . That's a few 'Eights' . Then you find that the attention is gathering. Then you are more able to be aware of the inner nose and higher nose. And you stay there. Then it's like you are climbing up inside a chimney or pot-holing in a cave , is to gradually withdraw the attention up into the top of the nose [ not into the Third Eye] it's up into the area between and below the eyes. Me and my cousin, when we were twelve or thirteen we used to tickle our nose, we used to get cigarette-papers, twirl them into a stick and tickle the tiny hairs up in the top of the nose! Our eyes would be streaming... other people would be watching television and going 'What are you doing??' and we'd be there with tears streaming and welling up with the tickling until you are just on the verge of sneezing... it really gives you a high and a buzz. That's the area where the air going in is brushing all the time the hairs up in the top of the nose. It's a very, very sensitive area. That's where you concentrate. It's actually a kind of pleasure area. Some sadhus in India they cut the band under the tongue, then they push their tongues up into the throat and nose! all this in order to touch it with their tongue from the inside All [ 'ewww....'] Bhante '...and then when they touch it they get a kind of loop on the go and they just go ' uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh......' they go into a sort of suspended 'wow' for a long time. I don't..!! advocate this!! All: ' general hubbub about this'
Bhante 'No... if any teacher encourages you to do that just say 'Bye!' ' I'm going to go and listen to Bhante ' You don't have to do much. Just concentrate on that area. It gathers the mind, it's very comforting and it feels like you are very safe and enclosed. You realise that all you are doing is being within your nose. Whereas normally we are all over the room, all spangled.. everywhere. We have become... it's called something alike 'Rakkhana kuti' it's like secure, protected and guarded. Then... we don't just stop there . Some people just stop there, at these places and that's it. Because it's one of these Forty Meditations. Which is Anapanasati. And also you can flow with the whole breath... waves going up and down the body. All of this tends towards just merging and with the merging you don't get to switch over to vipassana. Because it's like you are just swimming in the pleasurable feelings. Like having a massage or similar - it goes as far as pleasure and absorbing and melting and that's it. You stay there you can't improve and progress any further than that. Other than just falling asleep or blissing out. So then the trick is to follow the air passage down and start to arrive at the abdomen area. In the nose you've had an area that is very tiny. When you go down to the abdomen the main area is the size of a hand. You have the belly button and then the pancake area around it. If it's difficult to find at first then put your hand there and just feel it. There's either be subtle movement, or up and down, or in and out . Say it's going in and out for example. We've made the area from very tiny to very large. Then what we want to do is not lose it. We want to make the area quite large without losing or scattering the attention. We've spent all this time gathering it up and then putting it on the nose and then gathering it up and then holding it there and then bringing it down. ..and now we opened it out. Now at this point we don't want to scatter it. But we also don't want to fall asleep and this can happen at this point. Because it's a bit like going to sleep , like you are going on a long coach ride, you know, you look around, out the window, you put your head back and then 'zzzzzzzz' you concentrate roughly on your nose for a minute or less and then you fall asleep. So the body and the brain can go into 'autopilot sleep mode' if you are not careful. So we are trying to keep it awake. So what we do is like a meditation inner squash game, in order to get the mind to stay alert and stay bright. Also to give it some energy. You keep the body just the same, still but link up areas of touching so you are actually staying still but there are plenty of areas that are already touching. Your thumbs are touching together, like your fingers on your hands or like your foot on your leg, or your legs on the floor, your belt or clothing squeezing, or your tongue on the teeth, or eyelids touching . Many places where you can already find them. All you do is just 始skate' from one to another, just jump from one to another and then you give yourself a target of ,say, fifty . So then you get this game of dot-to-dot around the body.
This isn't linked to breathing either. Up until now we've been very focussed on the breathing - this is partly to disengage from the breathing but to stay with the body. And also to do the important thing which is aiming . SO, when you aim and you put energy in, mindfulness starts to arise up and energy starts to enter the mind. It starts to become bright and alert, although the body is staying still. Something like when you do yoga, athletics or jogging or walking the mind and the body are pretty much inseperable - the body does something and the mind is pretty much the same thing. Here , the body is being absolutely still but the mind is doing something independently. What you are doing is practicing, like with your eyes, is looking then go there , aim then go there, aim then go there ... and you are cutting diagonally through the body, you are going through the body to the back , from the back to the front, from the bottom to the top, and you are going backwards and forwards, in lots of different patterns joining places up together and all oof them are real touching areas. Often what is happening in the mind we are a bit doubtful partly because the mind is jumping from ideas that can't be known, can't be sure about, 'Should I do this?' 'Am I this?' 'Would I be that if I wasn't this?' it's jumping on thoughts. Then a little bit of the body and then back on to thoughts so this is an exercise now on really sure things. You are sending the mind , just go and look at that touching area. All there is there, is warmth. and pressure and that's it . And then there's another area of warmth and pressure over there you go to that. So these 'stepping stones' are all sure, all sure, all sure. So you are sending mind on an easy task and it comes back content and confident. Easy task, confident it comes back, Easy task, confident it comes back, again and again. This build up starts to make the mind more and more mindful , more and more powerful and more and more stable. So then it starts to shed doubts and start to calm down in a different kind of way not only based on focus. Then we return to this meditation - and this is the main basis for vipassanÄ - the thing is we have had to get there... We've had to build concentration but make sure the concentration didn't go too powerful [ by opening it up ] and then we've wanted to take the whole body as a potential place for awareness, the whole body, not just one part of it, but all of it can be used. So that's where this comes in. The area is quite large, it's the abdomen area , that's the basic 'home headquarters.' So it's nice and low. Then when you watch it rising and falling you can 'be' close to it, not up in your head looking down, you can be quite close to that area, or from the side and watch it moving, or even outside...like where your hands are, as if you have your 'film-crew' or whatever there looking back at the abdomen.From there you see it rising and falling. Actually you can be anywhere, there's no real home for the mind, this is one thing that comes clear. We normally think 'Well, it's me...I'm in my head...' [ battery runs out ]
[ recording 140531_002 [touch points, Metta Ooi, One Moment] ] Bhante: [ on sitting posture & raising sit-bones with a firm cushion] '...when you are flat and the muscles are relaxed the tendency is for the lower part of the spine to collapse. To prevent that you use the natural architecture of the spine. Sounds big, but the sit-bones are raised up and naturally the spine falls forward and the pelvis tilts forward. The more your nose is above your belly button more or less, then together with that supporting underneath you sit well. If your knees are getting very tender then rest them, or even lay down. The danger of reclining is zonking out - body and brain can just go 'Oh...naptime...' Did you manage to stay awake at the beach, on the wall?' Amila: 'That's how I meditate all the time so it's very easy for me to stay awake like that. Bhante: 'Good. So, did you understand everything I said so far? Until now, it was all clear? Even if I were to check you and say, do you understand each bit do you think you'd be able to describe it...? Amila: 'Obviously while you were talking about everything I got what what you were saying but did I remember the process ...? Bhante: ' What I'm hoping is to give you a recording of this anyway. I've got one up online that goes through them step-by-step, Earth, Water, Fire , Air, then Red, Yellow, Blue, White, Light, then Nose then Abdomen, then jumping across body, and then Rising-FallingSweeping sitting, Touching-Touching. That's the sort-of Full Sequence. The first lot, the spheres Calming [for restless] the other one is for Insight . Sometimes you will come to sit and you are already way calm so you can go straight into the VipassanÄ . You can do just a little bit of here [nose], little bit of there [jumping] then rising-fallingsitting-touching. So it's a process which exposes you to a range of meditations but the point is to know what they are there for, and when you need which... we have different things for different things. Sometimes a movie on the couch is good for some things, sometimes you want to go for a jog. So it's something like that - that you have activities to bring up certain conditions, if you don't need that condition you do something else. We are developing this discrimination - that's very important. Discrimination is one of the meanings of VipassanÄ , of insight, is wisdom. It is what should I do now... So an obedience exercise is no use for that, you just obey when the teacher tells
you..where do we go now..? So developing how to make choices - like those based on the Pleasure-Benefit scale. In that case, we'll do one kasina of the material ones, one colour, ie, one non-material one... and then we'll go straight to the nose. I want to make sure you have enough time of experiencing doing rising-falling-sitting-touching-touching and noting sense-doors. Once you find you are not really noting or watching rising falling any more you are off on a memory or something and then you come back...'what were we doing?' it's quite common that you are in it and then you just fall through the floor and you are in a dream...'what were we doing?' oh, yeah... meditating...I forgot ...' That seemed very vivid. like a real corridor, I was chatting with someone... at that point it's to note awareness of dreaming or awareness of seeing, or ... and then back with the body. Then pick back up where you were...' ah, that's right...I was at the ankle' Now where to?' Then you might fall through again... or find that actually you are listening over there, 'ah, it's that new guest... it's the tap dripping...' 'ooh...what am I doing? 'Awareness of... hearing, awareness of thinking, awareness of planning, ...' and then come back... This is the whole thing of training the puppy, bringing it back, calming down, returning back to the exercise, and then find it's done it again... stay calm through all of that, like bringing up a child or a puppy. Not to get agitated with yourself , all these things they are all a part of it. So you'll start off with Water Kasina then go to Yellow Kasina then we go to here , upper lip, low count only up to something like eight... and then start over - just in - out that's one. And only keeping it here for now. Then we are withdrawing and we go up to here [ the upper/inner nose area between eyes ] When you go here, its like a doorway that you stay at the door way, rather than flowing all the way down. Like a window or a doorway that you don't follow it all the way down the stairs and into the house - you stay at the doorway. Round about four 'pinnings' per breath in, four per 'out'. Keep the count going up and up. Like 'one-two-three-four...[then it goes out]....five-six-seven-eight....then...nine-ten-eleven-twelve.... It means that you are closely examining there rather than generally flowing, keeping it in this area and this builds up concentration and it helps you to examine that place. This will all be guided. And then, down here [ abdomen] I'll keep a concentrated area and help you move the focus like as if with a clock-face, moving around and again counting. Then jumping across and through... ok We'll go for forty minutes... you can sit for forty ok? Then a feedback and a leg-stretch and rest. 40 minute Guided meditation Just let your mind settle. For doing kasina you can have eyes slightly open or closed it's up to you.
[ Dalai Lama chant ] Let tension melt through the body Slowly recall and suspend your mind with the idea of the room around you and start to pay attention to the area in front of you. Almost as if you were to extend your hand out along the floor and then reach up . Where you were reaching up you would find this clay ball in the air in front of you - you could then softly stroke the clay ball... see how smooth it is , how amazing, you can't find anywhere that it's got a string or a support it's suspended in the air. It's hard.. smooth, hand-made clay and it has a salmon colour, terra-cotta colour . Dry ... imaging that with your hand you explore that and you look at it... and the Bahay kalipay environment is all around that... Patthavi is the name for 'Earth' but you can just use the term 'Earth' it has this quality of hardness. Press any finger against it, it has hardness. Has form. And you can use counting to sustain your examination and your wonder at this magical clay, earth ball - the kasina. Feel how the vibration of the chant goes right to the centre of the kasina. Feel how your mind loves calm. Welcome the disturbances... allow them , like clouds to pass across the mind's eye and then reappears the kasina. Then appears some reflections, then back again. Kind and warm and forgiving and generous to your self... this is something that takes patience, the patience of a very kind grandparent seeing their young grandchild trying to do something. And allow it to dissolve into a yellow kasina... so it'll be something a bit like a balloon in a way ... but a hologram balloon - you could pass your hand right the way through. Steadying the mind. Use the counting along with it.... yellow eight, yellow nine, yellow ten... and so on. Anapanasati Now be allowing your concentration to rearrive at the entrance to the nostrils... the upper lip. Let it penetrate to feel your gums and teeth and then return through to the nose area. Feel the shape...as if you were cliff climbing, and found a wonderfully shaped cave opening. As if you were to stroke the hand and palm across the curves, explore the smooth curves and then be aware as the breathing is there, the mountain air, enters and leaves... sometimes warm sometimes cool... as if you are in a mountain cave... just calmly, relaxedly counting those breaths as they enter. Somehow you only get to eight and then it's time to start again, that's fine. Accept that it is as good as it is... not to criticise and judge. Keep a warm and friendly attitude to yourself. Good humoured, understanding, accepting. Greet the breath with love... breath that will be absorbed into the body, into the blood. Greet it with love. Begin to explore the cave of the nose, it's like a comforting mountain cave. Begin to float slowly higher and more within, feel comfortable and secure. Becoming one with the higher cave. Consider those thousands of tiny hairs vibrating like a whole orchestra , or like a rice field in a valley receiving a warm breeze in the evening... making a music.
Secure, like a sleeping baby. VipassanÄ basis We are just beginning our journey. This journey is going to explore the air path and it's flow to arrive through the ribs and to the torso... at the belly button, the navel. The birth nourishment. So attention is going to slowly arrive, allowing tension to melt through the body and accepting all imperfect feelings. Accepting all unwanted things, accepting all disliked things... ...and be with the abdomen area ... ....with quite a spread of attention...like a pancake area or about the size of a palm of a hand. If you need to, just place a palm of the hand on the abdomen area... Just feel it as it is... without judgement, without straining... for this or that... Just feel the temperature... ...just feel the touch... ...feel the hardness or space... ...feel any tightening...or softening... ... any movement... ... and allow the examing eye to rove around ... sometimes looking from outside the skin towards... and sometimes be looking at the inside of the belly-button sometimes outside... sometimes inside... and the area around the belly-button ... without any interpretation and judgement... ...just as it is, the touch there, the sponginess there ... the temperature there ... Accept your efforts just as they are... accept your body as it is... accept it's imperfections and lumps and bumps... it's pains and shape See everything that is there ... everything is included ... Then, together with an aiming and an intention to brighten and sharpen the mind... start to look for areas and patches of touching and start to join them up one after another. Aiming and then being at it. And then looking for another one. And going be at it... It can be eye-lids. Tongue... toes... It can be touching the floor. It can be clothing pressing. It could be anything where you really notice touching sensation there. Then, like a dot-to-dot rapidly moving from one to another, without regard for the speed of the breath or so on. This is to disengage from the breathing and start mapping the bodyof these real touching areas.
This is actually the 'earth element'. It is hardness - but not to be confused with the 'Earth kasina'. So when you touch them you can make the note 'touching'. You can count, 'touching one' 'touching two'... and give yourself a target number such as fifty.. Practice going fast and slow Notice trying to disengage it from the breathing pattern. Skating across the body... breathing is just a part of that body...
Now return back to the rising and falling Soon we'll be able to look at the pause after the falling ... so we can flood through the body as part of our meditation. Be with the rising and falling and then spread the attention out throughout the whole body ' Rising... falling..... sitting... ' Rising... falling..... sitting...
Begin to add also ' Touching... touching ' at the same time as you are doing 'sitting...' flood the body and at the same time 'touching... touching', go to the right belt-line, right hip then left hip... ' Rising... falling..... sitting... ' Touching... touching ' Skate through the body Begin to move those pairs, the touching points... to right sit-bone, left sit-bone... underneath, where you are pressing down on the cushion. and after that to the back of the right-knee , back of the left-knee Start going on to Right ankle - Left ankle After that Right top of the foot - Left top of the foot Then go back to the begininng ' Rising... falling..... sitting... ' Touching... touching ' [ right hip then left hip... ]
Don't forget to note if you find your mind tumbling off to one of the sense doors ... any kind, fantasy , dream , listening to stuff around outside , slipping off and anything that you find is 'in the hand of the mind' so to speak.. just note it . Any state of mind can be noted, it can be anything at all ... it can be hate, lust, fantasy, boredom, it can be irritation. It can be anything ... if you are aware of that then note the awareness of that. If you notice physical reactions, as you are aware of them simply note them ... without any interpretation or judgement . Keep adding two more points, adding two more. Right knee - left knee Right thigh - left thigh Right groin - left groin then threes, the front cross & back cross : Right groin, middle of the chest, left shoulder Left groin, middle of the chest, right shoulder
Or if it's getting too cluttered just stay with, say, six of them The idea is to keep the mapping of the body close and to pay attention so you don't space out. If you get any irritation just note that 'awareness of irritation' or 'awareness of disliking' Open the mind to include it all including reactions... mind states... perceptions... 'Awareness of tension' or 'Awareness of temperature' 'Awareness of hardness' or 'Awareness of softness' 'Awareness of sponginess' Notice how the mind just fluxes. All we have here is the skeleton, which is heavy... and it's inside this rubbery skin... just the two things being present together ... that's enough to cause all sorts of conditions which make the mind swirl and react. Just the wind blowing around is out of our control causes the mind to swirl and react without our control. Pleasant feelings and unpleasant feelings with no judgement ... any expectations. All of these things being material responses they are all 'things' ... Nibbﾄ］a is also 'no thing'... We are usually looking for this thing, we are looking for that thing, we are attached to
this thing and that thing . Nibbﾄ］a is not a thing. All of these 'things' are impermanent. All of these sounds, pleasant and unpleasant are impermanent. Our skin is like a jigsaw puzzle made up of pleasant and unpleasant experiences , and in our eyes and our minds ideas . Any excitement on the body and in the mind, feelings or any anxiety or pain try to view it with that same idea ' this is impermanent', it's not lasting. Then , with that noting ... it's one of the key tools ... 'awareness of excitement' 'awareness of pleasure' 'awareness of displeasure' 'awareness of ... anything...everything.. ' '...boredom..' 'awareness of anger ' .
So now come back up to air at the nose ... begin to distill your concentration ... maybe at the top of the nose . Get a safe, guarded, secure concentration. A safe place. With the opening of the heart forgiveness can arise naturally , self-acceptance, the heart's wish to be happy...
Metta - Loving Kindness Meditation [ music change to 'Chant of Metta' Imee Ooi ] Change to make loving kindness meditation... the wish for your self to be happy... [ May I be free from mental suffering May I be free from physical suffering May I take care of myself happily May my parents, teachers , relatives, and friends ... fellow Dhamma-farers, May they be free from enmity and danger , May they be free from mental suffering May they be free from physical suffering May they take care of themselves happily May all yogis in this compound be free from enmity and danger , May they be free from mental suffering May they be free from physical suffering May they take care of themselves happily May all monks in this compound, novice monks , lay men and lay women
disciples May they be free from enmity and danger , May they be free from mental suffering May they be free from physical suffering May they take care of themselves happily May all the donors of the four supports, buildings and lodgings ,food, medicines and clothing. May they be free from enmity and danger , May they be free from mental suffering May they be free from physical suffering May they take care of themselves happily May all guardian devas in this retreat centre , in this dwelling, in this compound, May they be free from enmity and danger , May they be free from mental suffering May they be free from physical suffering May they take care of themselves happily May all beings, All breathing things, All creatures, All individuals, All personalities. May all females, All males, All noble ones, All worldlings, All deities, All humans, All those in the four woeful planes... May they be free from enmity and danger , May they be free from mental suffering May they be free from physical suffering May they take care of themselves happily '
[ music fades ]
So bear in mind that loving kindness is opening your heart to your self , self acceptance, and opening the heart can involve revealing a lot of wounds and a lot of childhood pain , family pain... extend that compassion to yourself ... the difficulties of living , the difficulties of living, of existing... The pain of the mind can be changed... There is physical pain that cannot be changed , and there is mental pain that can be changed.
This is like a light - radiating in every direction... or a radio signal to be received by everyones' heart ... [ metta music and guide-vocal continuing as above... ] [ 55.00 ] Sharing Merits to all beings Always good at the end of a practice to share your benefits out to the universe. Beings of all different varieties can receive that, seen and unseen. Human and nonhuman, celestial and non-celestial. We are very fortunate to be here, to be together, and we may have practiced together in past lives as well... or even on other planes... like very old friends meeting and cosupporting this effort . We also may have relatives who weren't spiritual who may have hunted, or killed things, or made any action which is kammicly unfortunate for them now...and unawares they have arisen in a low place.. and an unhappy place... so we can extend merits to them... Here we are very fortunate, we can make blessings... like this morning where people are offering food this is making blessings and building up a store of good energy as a consequence. But there are people out there hurting, harming, causing fear and pain on other people... and building up a bank of negative results. So we especially remember these hungry spirits and these unfortunate ones who don't have the possibility at all easily to make good merit... so we invite them to accept and drink from our bottomless well of beautiful flowing Dhamma ... this gorgeous, positive, magnetic energy... radiant energy that we find when we practice loving kindness. The open heart reveals to us the interconnectedness of all beings. The emptiness we find is also a way of dissolving our duality and our seperateness , you and me and each other... the distances. We find this commonality amongst us all. So in your own time allow yourself to return to group form. You can relax and rest ... and share a little. Check in with each other and share about our journey and experience . Meanwhile here is a collection of images I was asked to make as a part of a Dhamma health evening, blood donation... so lots of inspiring images ... nice to observe ... Just inspiring and fascinating , just soothing when you are coming out of deep meditation , arriving out of deep opening and entering into stillness . trak 10 50.31
Art Meditation Art Meditation check in:
'Naomi' Japanese-Singaporean student: Image One - Chaos, Disorder & Disharmony
Image Two - Causes of Chaos, Disorder & Disharmony
' The blue to the left is my life flowing, then the brown is the death of my husband, then the three lines are my life in Singapore... my career.. which is closing and drying up... I feel i have to let go and go into the unknown...'
Image Three, The Ending of Chaos, Disorder and Disharmony 'Here the life , green, is flowing... into the future .. but it needs these fires of inspiration to channel and steer and push it...'
Image Four, The path to the Ending of Chaos, Disorder and Disharmony
'[Here, showing] I can find some way. I missed a stage but after listening to your guide really gave us a context. Water, Fire, Rainbow... Somehow I felt maybe this is the way I can go through this current life. So I will share with you later. ' [ laughs ]
Swedish student 'Animo' :
Image One - Chaos, Disorder & Disharmony ' This is my 'Chaos'. Perhaps this is me, right here. [ pointing to central brown circle . This circle has different thoughts and different shapes going out . Yes, sometimes it can different. You decide it's not perfect so... ' Columbian student 'Laura'
Image One - Chaos, Disorder & Disharmony ' Ok, mine is ... I think this related to kind of a human perspective that chaos starts within our minds. So, we create chaos. I feel that, perhaps, everybody has a little troubling part in their brain that wants to see the negative or that wants to create chaos. And sometimes that has a consequence in our vision and in the way we talk. And visa versa too. So, what we see effects our mind and creates chaos and also sometimes what we listen and hear also creates chaos in our mind. So, it's always within us and it can become very evil and very, very hurting... not only for your self but for the people around you.' Bhante: '...and the red parts?' Laura: ' This is like how strong it can be... so it's kind of like fire... raining fire. Raining fire or tears of fire.' Bhante: 'Creating destructivity around us...' Laura: 'Yes, yes. Because your negative chaos, even if it's only in your mind it has a lot of effect towards your surroundings'
Bhante: Image One - Chaos, Disorder & Disharmony
Image Two - Causes of Chaos, Disorder & Disharmony
'Ok, So Second image. It's a bit like that Yin and Yang thing. I was seeing the eyes which were interwoven... here they are dualistic... it's like, one person looking at another person and there's a division between them. It's like 'You and Me' and 'We are opposites' that kind of suspicion. They came out suspicious and I kind of liked that. I liked the way it went up to a.. there was nowhere to go except for this just looking at itself, like a mirror. This was
just going to be the top one and then I realised you could have an eye just looking at itself in a circle. And that kind of self-realisation, sort of illuminating all the rest of it. I just liked the watery thing in the middle there. The way that it looked like one meditator there. It just came together nice. These images I wasn't thinking... but I just liked that sort of Egyptian hieroglyphic look, seemed to suit the mood. And the full-mooneyness of now just seems very intuitive... just not to have to do too many ideas. There was something in this about giving away all my technique and my Buddhist training and everything... just be able to smash the boat up kind of thing [ laughs ] like yesterday [ full moon silent meditation day ] there wasn't any need ... just enough to let the nature through. Which, I've had many teachers who have taught that... but it's easier said than done. Where none of the plastic Buddhas and chanting and robes and everything really matters. Easier said than done. '
'Capi' Philipino student Image One - Chaos, Disorder & Disharmony
Image Two - Causes of Chaos, Disorder & Disharmony
' I forgot a lot of things but what came to me was that we try to grasp at everything, we try to own everything, and make things ours. And when you try to hold something you stop it... so it doesn't flow, and that's never a good thing. And that's why we are suffering because we try to possess too much, we try to hold too much. Sometimes we try to understand and to contextualise too much instead of just letting things flow. So that's why the hand. You know you can't really hold on to anything in life you just need to let it flow too. That's one of the things I learned. ' Bhante: ' Looks like a cup that everything's flowing through?' Capi: ' Yeah, but it's flowing through... it's not supposed to have a bottom. Sometimes you think you need to fill your cup. What I realised was that's wrong, you just need to let it flow through... You need to remove your bottom' Bhante: [ laughs ] 'That's perfect.' Capi: ' And let it flow through you. The moon too 'cause I think it's good to not figure things out. I'm also a moon person, it's going to be my birthday soon but I think it's ok to have some mystery in, you know, in life. There are things really you won't figure out. So... '
Bhante: ' I like that, 'Not to fill your cup up... but to remove your bottom' [ laughs]
' Ok. My version... This is the flow, the course of my life . Maybe it's my husband's death blocked, but I try to survive... so part of me going through this ... flows through. Then, small stream to go for my professional goal, life in Singapore continue to continue my life in Singapore but... looking after my self, looking after my daughter.' Bhante: 'Which direction is the flow going in?' Naomi: 'Flow is coming here [ left to right ] but here it is blocked by my husband's death, it's a great shock and changed my whole life. But, you know... I can't give up, have to still force through the block or chaos... the chaotic experience. Here not the original colour... but the fire is coming in, or some destruction is coming in. I know that I have to go through and I have my mind telling me that better to make your life meaningful ... you better do that. Partially I'm starting to do that, really, my mind is starting to do that because I like to learn new things. I like to gain understanding, knowledge , concept but it is quite challenging time-wise, my skill-wise, and lecture-wise. I want to pursue but not enough ability to do that, that's why I'm struggling, but my mind says, 'Keep going to achieve your goal'. So I'm trying to push with my strength, but it causes me problem, very strenuous life...exams. Here to carry on my life in Singapore , after a few years of chaotic period , my relationship with my daughter is partially settling down, because she has grown up, I also came to understand how to handle teenagers, and early twenties. I became moderate
and she has grown to understand more about me , about life, about environment. So very little fire is now getting less and less and less. So the cause of my chaos was here and now I try to force myself to push, to achieve that professional goal which may not be my true desire.' 'Animo' [Swedish] 'Ok. Image Two - The Cause of Suffering or Chaos...
I just finished school, before that I had a lot of struggling because I really want to do well in school and that causes me some ' Naomi: ' Just like me! Want to do better ' Animo 'I want to do good. I didn't have so good balance in my body. Imbalance. Nowadays I don't have it because...' Bhante: ' Kind of the pressure of that time and place, but now...' Animo 'Yeah.' Bhante: ' But you can look back at the causes of that suffering...?'
Animo 'Yes.' Laura [ Columbia ] 'Do you think you can go back to an environment where there is a lot of pressure and be balanced?' Animo 'Yes. I think so' Laura [ Columbia ]
'Ok, so this is my 'Causes'. It originally began... all of these are heads... of people... and they are kind of in a circle...and they are in a circle looking outside... so they make a circle... and they are like in an aquarium... because their perceptions... these are the purple lines are their perceptions... and because they have certain perceptions...of what things should be like ... this is something the society has created upon us. And this is an aquarium. And so, for example, a fish here , what we see through this because of our view is not so clear we can't see the water as clear as it is. The water is clear but what we get is all of the green stuff in the middle. So it's like this part is the pollution we create because of our perceptions. The stuff in the middle is the heart... it's not because we are bad, or that we have bad perceptions , it's not because we are 'bad human beings' it's because we are just victims, we're just born that way and there's nothing... so we are good, and we have good intentions but the thing is we are very blurry as to what the reality is and how we should perceive it. And in the end it's an eye. Because it's all about vision. Bhante: 'Great. Like a 3D eye in an aquarium with all these clouded perceptions and this tortured heart in the centre. Great.
[ showing Third Image - Ending of Suffering ] Ok. That's strangely close to this one as well...'
Third Image - Ending of Suffering 'It's kind of similar, except your eyes were looking out and my eyes were looking in. So this is like one eye but there's all these eyes which are looking in. So this is the ending of suffering. The idea of that was, a bit like yesterday where all of these people, pretty much just all had the same idea, and it wasn't even an idea. [ They all went into meditation together ] Like I came up here to the first floor area and everyone was just sitting here, all by themself , with no one having said so or anything. So it's kind of like when everyone is of a same mind then that's an ending of suffering. And the way that each eye links to one life centre. And then I added these other eyes, like yours ...when they are looking outwardly, they are not looking inwardly to that unity the tears are there . I was thinking of the difference between people who are in harmony... and someone like that guy down at the beach, stalking women ... they've got this sort of inbuilt pain. That was it - it was like one flash image. Capi [ Philippino ] 'I always had this image that fire was about destroying. '
Third Image - Ending of Suffering but I realised it's actually not that, because when you destroy something comes up... so, one of my favourite lines in a book is : 'Ruination is the gift of transformation' When something gets destroyed there is transformation, and it becomes something else. Like the Phoenix. But, anyway, when we were touring around El Nido the rock formations were beautiful and the guide was saying that the rocks got pushed up because of the tectonic plates, and I realised that underneath all the water and earth there is fire. I guess coming from where I am right now, even if you don't want to change what happens so the universe just really pushes you to where you are supposed to be. When I got here I did the Inner Dance School, sometimes I'd write 'What the hell are you doing here?' and then I'd say, 'You are exactly where you are supposed to be' Things will move, even if you delay them, there's always change, there's always that fire within... everything to change. I was thinking of an eraser because you know , you get to erase and do things again. I put the infinite sign because you have infinite chances to change. ' Bhante: ' And the blue circle and red?' Capi ' This is the Earth, but there is change within it and outside... so it reflects. We are just inbetween forces I guess. ' Naomi [ Japan-Singapore ] 'Fire to end the chaos...'
Third Image - Ending of Suffering 'You mentioned that the Fire can be used to destroy things, and the fire can be gentle, like a lamp, to give you a home, or a warmth. So I thought, what I need for me is a gentle warmth or a gentle energy ... the fire can be free to direct me . In a sense I have to trust, to learn to trust. It is easy to trust in this place, this space, in Bahay Kalipay, or Philippines but it is very difficult to trust in Singapore. So I have to learn to something let go and trust , to accept how I move, and us, the gentle energy to put some fire to redirect my flow of life differently because currently I am suffering , I wouldn't say suffer, but I am not in peace still. That's why I drew the picture of the chaos. To redirect so less suffering, with move, then another small fire to again redirect my path.' Bhante: ' Your path is the green and these reds are the fires.. so they are redirecting the flow as they go along' Naomi: 'My life... fire here, fire there... everytime when the fire appears then somehow I can change to suit more peaceful state of mind then the fire appears from somewhere to redirect me again. ' Bhante: ' And you need to trust that those will appear , they will be there and the flow will go on and find it's way... Great, externalising the trust. '
'This should be like people who are together, if you can see that. It's when people are in harmony or when you are in harmony but with yourself. That's one of the endings of sufferings. '
Bhante: 'Yeah. Great. Simple as that.'
'Ok, this one is a person and, as you can see there is fire in their eyes, but fire doesn't mean it's bad, it's the same fire that comes through your heart, like passion and desire. I think everyone has that inside them. But it can easily become negative if we look the wrong way. So if we look things as they are and take your umbrella away and let the water come down and then you can see things maybe more like they should be. Because many times we hide under the umbrella or we try to protect ourselves and we can't see the things as clear as they are. But it's more like opening the doors , opening and like swimming.'
Bhante: 'Ok. And last one The Path to the Ending of Suffering. Sorry about the lack of colours on this.
But this one was like ... the first thing that came was a river entering the sea. Again it was like this... the vehicle and the duality which takes you to the non-duality. And so that point of non-duality ... duality means 'You... and ME!' So there was the boat moving that way, which kind of feels like where I am at. And then this became like rays of the moon or the sun and these were like fruit . And I had kind of finished it and thought 'That's it, I'd done it...path to the end of suffering .There it is, it's simple enough as it is like that' Then I remembered yesterday when I came up the stairs and everyone was sitting here, the moon was here, it was perfect ... I just wanted to include that. That seemed a very perfect moment really. But these are like divine fruit , like all those many things that happen , those good things that happen that just turn up , they are like that, like a fruit. Fruits of the path. Also that song always inpires me 'Solsbury Hill'. It's got that victory thing. And it's all about renunciation as well, like giving up, about finding your way . It's got a very uplifting feel, inspiring.'
'This is air. Air is the most intangible thing, you know. You know the saying 'When the wind changes...' or 'You know where the wind blows...' it's always about that. You never can see it but you can feel it. It's like when you wake up, or in Bahay Kalipay, like you go to the beach, or an ocean because the air is different. I think it is something that people will fundamentally will want to have. Because we are all comfortable playing the victim. So if change needs to happen you'll wake up one day and you'll realise you need it. And some of us when we are hurting we always think about gratification, trying to get something but it's actually about giving. So sometimes you feel like you are empty but you are not. So this is why it's about giving. And I put this, because this means that they were seperate, then when you start sharing you intertwine the lives together. So, it's not about wanting or taking it's about sharing. Sharing your suffering, sharing your insights, like this. It's in these moments that you get to heal. Bhante: 'That's the path to the Ending of Suffering..?' Capi: 'Yeah.'
Bhante: 'It's made by giving and sharing . Interconnectedness.' Capi: 'Yes.' Naomi:
'My fourth one very much like the previous one. But this one, as you mentioned, it's a rainbow... change colour. So i thought, maybe it's a process of life. If you change your perspective it may not be suffering. So instead of looking one side and one way, to continue to look and feel that this is chaotic, this is not what I want, I should be this way, that way but the light comes in and gives you a different perspective. Then you change the view then you can regain the energy, try to go ahead. Then you can change some part of our life, get some light or different glass to see your life differently. Then your chaos, your suffering may not be suffering. Adjust little by little bit, here and there... then it may not be unhappiness for you... that's what I thought.' 'Thankyou'
' I think if you look inside yourself and realise what you want to ... see the world with clear eyes, you can see it in an other perspective ... yes, perhaps you don't have the sufferings. You need to accept it . ' Naomi: 'Hmm, acceptance...' Animo: 'Acceptance.'
Laura: 'Mine is actually about acceptance.
It's like making peace with who we are and reality and our surroundings and acknowledging everything as a tree, as a plant, a little animal as equal as we are and making peace with ourselves and the way we live. ' Bhante: 'And that's the way to the Path to the Ending of Suffering...just through that, self-acceptance... Can you say a little bit about that image, the red boat... ' Laura: 'Yes. I see the red boat as more of Us, humans... and just the ocean... and the sun, and the wind, the air, the earth, they are just there, pure, and good and .. All we need to do is be in peace with them to be happy. And to release the suffering. Because it's not a natural disaster that causes suffering , it's that we are vulnerable to the natural hazard itself. We are not prepared to adapt. Because we are weak . Our societies fail, are failing. That's all. If we fix ourselves then we will not have any suffering.' 'And that's the Path... So it's kind of like ...'
Laura: 'How to fix ourselves and our perspectives of reality and how to interact with nature. ' Bhante: 'Thankyou all so much.'
The Labyrinth of Craving This is a series of participatory art installations that I devised as a way to communicate about The Dependent Origination. The Dependent Origination is a Classical Theravadin teaching system or diagram of co-dependent phenomena that cause and support suffering. It's name is Patticca SamupÄ da in PÄ li. In order to bringthe teaching to life more I set up the circular labyrinth at Bahay Kalipay with the diagram of twelve links arranged around in a circle with a yoga mat at each of the twelve positions. I then chose small sculptures and statues or objects to represent that element or link, eg, a wooden pig for Ignorance, a huge wooden bowl with a huge spoon for Craving etc. I wrote in coloured chalk the Twelve Connections and invited participants to walk around and after a time sit somewhere where they felt a connection to their spiritual quest. Often I would start the Session with this story. It is the Vedabba Jataka story of the Buddha as Bodhissattva in training, pre-Enlightenment. I discovered that this ancient Indian tale had been absorbed into Jeffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, as The Pardonners Tale. Chaucer had been involved with the shipping docks in London's Thames dockyards and had probably gleaned the original tales from there, I speculate. He has changed the original somewhat, but his version is quite tellable and not unlike the original in moral. I linked up the Kilesa Vata, the Round of Defilements with a triangle. That is Ignorance, Craving and Attachment. I then explained that these, in many similes, are described to be like three evil characters who go around together - a blind man, a thief and a bully. The blind man stumbles on unknowingly, the thief grasps at many things and the bully keeps shoving the blind man. [ I heard that originally from the Burmese master, Ven U Silananda. ]
Three Men Go into a Pub... [ A Poison Porridge Story ] Ignorance - Craving - Attachment 'So three evil men are in a pub... It is still early mid morning, but already they are drunk and gambling loudly over cards and fighting. They are always rowdy. Always in the pub. One is blind and lurches around swearing. By his side, joined up by a rope, is a wellknown thief, always picking pockets and reaching into every nook and cranny to pocket what he can grasp. Close by him is his thuggish bullying friend, with great huge hands that cling to items and a sack fiercely. As they go about their squabbling and tricks over games of cards and drink one happens to notice through the window, a slow, funeral procession passing by along the road. Through the uproar of shouting by the other two, the thief calls at the pub landlord ' Oo's in the box, eh? Who snuffed it now? Go on... who?' The landlord, wary of the trio said carefully... 'But you know. One who was here with you last week only. A friend of yours...' The trio stopped their clawing and pushing and grabbing. They looked at him in shock, even the blind one. 'Go on...' Hoarsely growled one with a menacing tone of threat. They were ready for a fight and trouble... if it meant revenge then so be it. 'Who did it?? Who did our mate in, eh?' 'It was a character that's been visiting everywhere lately... killing one here, one there. One in nearby village, one in the town, one on the road.... By the name of Death he goes....' One of the three villains growled furiously..... 'Where is 'e... We'll get 'im good and proper... !' 'Death?' said the landlord carefully, knowing that these were not the brightest of folk 'Well, Death visited an old man just up that track over there not long ago.' Immediately seized by the desire for blood and revenge, the three jumped up with a roar and a burst of tables, chairs and beer tankards... heading for the door. 'Out of our way fool of a coward! Just wait til we deal with this one!' And up they scrambled, blundering drunkenly out, of the pub, heading for the winding track opposite that lead into woods and beyond to the misty moors and several farms and villages. As they stumbled and fumed furiously up the track a distant figure appeared coming towards them. It was an elderly man, with a kind smile and warm look in his eyes. As they got closer the thief was hissing to the bully 'Who is it? Who is it? I'll rip 'im out if it's that low-down, no-good slubberdy-gullion of a toad! I'll tear 'im apart!' But the old man was waving to them kindly, 'Ah, friends... how are you this fine morning? Only too glad to see fellow travellers on the path. Where might you be headed to?' He called, as he approached closer and closer, undisturbed by the triple tangle of thuggery that was dragging the stumbling blind man , pushing pulling and stinking of beer and cheese and onion crisps. 'Never you mind! You 'orrible old nobody...' Boomed the bully ' Unless you can tell us where to find the killer what's been and done in our mate! And if anyone's hidin' 'im then they are gonna get it too.... Where is he? eh?' 'Killer?' 'He's well known round here... goes by the name.....' and grabbed the old man's collar,
pulling him close to his stinky breath and stubbly chin '...by the name of....DEATH....' The old man looked at him and the other two... 'Ahh, so it is Death you are looking for is it? Ah, I see... Well, then. You must take that side track up there. Along that track you will find an old, old oak tree of Heavenly wisdom... and under that tree... yes, there, you will find that which you so eagerly are seeking. There you will find your enemy...' The bully was wheezing, and puffing. 'You better not be lying! Or we'll be back to deal with you... Why is an old bag of bones still walking about at your age, I don't know.' 'Well, the young are not interested in my sage advice and guidance. ' 'Don't get clever with us you old codger! Now out the way while we see to this scumbag!' And he threw the old man to the floor, pushing past and looking for a stick to use as a club. Having armed themselves with heavy sticks they advanced up the track where they spied an old, old twisty oak tree that had a sunken pit the other side of it. All three hesitated. The thief looked at the bully...the blind one listened. Then they charged. But to there amazement as they rounded the tree, clubs in hand they were just stunned into silence. There at the foot of the tree was a huge pile of treasure.... gems, crystals, gold coins, silver coins, ornamented jewellry.... a glowing heap such as they had never seen in all their lives... They just stood, panting, eyes like dishes... jaws dropped. The blind one demanded to know what was there... They giuded his hands to the gems... All three collapsed to the pile running their hands through and through... 'We are rich!!' They whispered in glee and joy, giggling. 'We are rich!!' Rolling on their backs with laughter and drunken joking. 'Rich...rich...rich!!! More than your wildest dreams!!' And so, crazed with the joy of their new found spoils the three set about dreaming up what they would spend it all on... Soon they were ready to go and get on with the business of spending. But the thief halted them. 'You go if you like, but I know what'll happen if people spy me wanderin' around with this lot... No, I say we wait here til night fall...' 'Yeah, you may be right. Not point gettin' arrested, no thanks' said the bully. 'But I'm hungry', said the blind one. They all agreed, by now they were starving hungry. 'I know I'll go and get us some take-away meals and wine from the village shop and come back. We'll eat it here and wait til nightfall, then we can go by cover of nightfall'. 'Good plan' they all agreed. So off the thief set down the long track back to the village. Meanwhile the bully and the blind one set about talking over all the things they would get and the air was full of dreams and schemes, wonders and fancies of every different description, not barely was one fantasy spun in the air before another was following it... their minds in a whirl of excitement. Bigger and bigger, dream built upon dream, pleasure upon gain, power upon fame... fame upon gain... great castles in the air... The blind one would have hardly finished a new wonder project of his own, when the bully would interrupt realising what was now possible... his mind clutching at racing vehicles, investments, wardrobes of new suits and visions of himself as chairman of a board of directors of a huge mega-company... a multi-billionaire... that would set off the blind one again even more inflamed with ambition and greed. Soon they both were exhausted with all the loud, enthusiastic ranting and dreaming... sitting back down the pile gems didn't seem quite so huge any more. Silently they both sunk into quiet, the blind one thoughtfully feeling and estimating the size of the pile. The bully looked at him shiftily out of the corner of his eyes. 'You've gone very quiet...' said the blind one 'What are you thinking?' 'Oh, nothing, nothing at all. No, nothing at all... why, you? What are you thinking...?'
'Noo, nothin' either.' Though he was rubbing his chin and shifting uncomfortably. After an uncomfortably long silence the bully cleared his throat. 'What?' said the blind one. 'Nothing' said the bully 'It's just...' 'Just what?' 'Just a sore throat' 'Oh' Silence. 'Well... . If there was anything about the treasure.... well, you know, you are my mate, and ... just that... if it was divided any other way than a three-way split... well, you would be the first person I would trust to... to... well... in case, any change happened... or the other guy wasn't involved... just suppose... well that you are my right hand man to turn to.... ' Silence... ' You what?' said the blind one. 'Well... not to put too fine a point on it... I mean... well, how well do you know that thief, eh? I mean, is he really a mate of yours Blindey ol friend...?' 'I hardly know him. Can't say I like him mind you. He's a thief. Can't trust him far as you can spit him.' 'Exactly my feelings.' 'So?' 'Well, not that I'm attached you see.... but it does occur to me that...well...' 'A two-way 50-50...' 'A two-way 50-50 exactly... would go a lot further ro my requirements and needs before I could really see a full return... on some of my investments... ' 'So...?' 'Well... a thief... I mean we'd be doing the neighbourhood and society a favour by putting him out of harms way... wouldn't we, Blindey?' 'Out of harms way... ' wheezed the blind one...'I like that..' he cackled. 'I could finish him off when he comes back,' enthused the bully warming to the idea,'One good smack to the head...and then it's 50-50... just you and me partner!' 'You're a real friend boyo, a true buddy. Don't know where I'd be without you.' Meanwhile, the thief had been having dreams of his own and had stopped down the track to take stock of the situation. As his plans had grown, as thieve's dreams tend to.. being of a craving and suspect nature... a dark plan had crept into his mind... to take the whole pile of gems and treasure! But one thing stood in the way of his dream...the other two crooks. Blindey and the bully. And then it dawned on him, as he chewed a daisy and eyed the village below... poison the food! Yes! Perfect... then with the other two out of the way, he could bury the two bodies and be off with the whole pile! In the village there was a village grocers and food store and a chemists. They even did a take-away chicken adobo as it was a Philippino story. With rice-porridge... and they sold a nice little bottle of wine each. So with three good portions of meal in brown paper bags he went into the chemists. Ding! went the bell of the door. 'Good morning, Sir, how can I help you?' 'Trouble in our stable yard with huge rats... er, thinking of using something strong to get rid of them... something very, very strong.' 'Ah, we have just the thing.' said the chemist reaching up for a brown bottle with a skull
and cross-bones on the label. 'Poison' it said in bold print. 'Now that, is strong enough to do in your whole stable of horses never mind just the rats! So you want to be very, very careful what you do with it, I have to warn you, or you yourself are in danger, Sir.' 'I'll be very, very careful' And off he went with the bottle to a hidden spot behind bushes. There he carefully sperated out his own portion of rice-porridge chicken adobo and his own bottle of wine. putting it safely to one side.. and, holding the other two brown bags with a cloth rag , he carefully drenched and soaked the other two portions in pure 100% poison!! Then it was the turn for their wine. Opening both bottles he poured in plenty of the pure poison into both bottles for the bully and the blind one. Sure he was done, he ate his lunch, smirking all the time at the thought of his cleverness and how rich he would become soon. Back at the old oak tree the bully saw the thief approaching carrying the packs of lunch. 'Gorblimey... don't know about you but I'm starving... here he comes now... just act natural' he whispered to Blindey. 'Hey!' came a jolly call from the thief as he approached. 'We are starrrrving! You took your time you old rascal! Come and make yourself comfy round the gems and feast your eyes while we get a good munch of lunch... i could eat a horse! Come on, you park yourself right down here... you must be tired out after that long walk me old friend! ' And he began to reach round the tree for the thick, hard stump of wood he had ready. The thief was indeed tired. 'Ahhh, my feet are killing me! Oooooh, that treasure looks even more beautiful than be...- OOF!' ...and with that the bully brought the stump down on the back of his head! Dead in one blow! His body slumped over like a sack of potatoes. Silence a moment.... 'Is it done?' said Blindey, breathless. 'Ha ha!! Done it is! We are rich Blindey! Rich! I never liked that thieving trouble-maker! Now it's you and me all the way!!.... ooh, I'm starving. Where's that lunch he brought... ah, here's one for you and one for me... wine too! We are on our way!' And the two of them sat round the jewels and gems guzzling the wine and slurping the rice-porridge with corpse of the thief by their side... It wasn't long. With a gasp and a groan. Both the bully and Blindey wer to drop to the floor, until three corpses were laying around the gems... The old wise man had been right all along. All three had found what they were looking for under the tree.... Death!!!
The Labyrinth of Craving
Discussion on life sitting round the Labyrinth With the Dependent Origination links. Ria: ' This is just magic to me, Seeing Clearly and seeing things for the first time... where you don't have to over-compensate, you don't have to consciously avoid these things. That's when it becomes more real, the change in you is more sincere, effective and lasting. As opposed to temporary improvements you could make while you are still operating around. Bhante: 'It sounds like you are using one of the terms, which is one of the cravings actually, 'I don't want to be' Ria: 'Yes, exactly!' Bhante: 'See, that's also a craving. Ria: 'That's what I was doing in my whole outlook on life. All of that bad stuff happened when I was a lot younger. I thought 'Hey, I'm a better person now.' Example, when I became a make-up artist , it worked for me. I helped people look better. I realised that I may have made myself look better but I'm still hurt over the fact that I thought I used to be ugly. So I may not be ugly any more but I'm still hurt over thinking I was. So that's why I couldn't go out without make-up, always have to fix myself. Whether I was ugly or not... that's not what should matter... Now I can put that in the past, I don't have to put it in my future, live in the present... then create whatever you want for your future which is realizing that i think this has opened so many more doors for me . now I could be more honest about myself. Bhante: 'So, when you do it with an 'I am' [ even in the present] you reinforce the 'I was' and the 'I will be'. Which is also part of the craving to exist. Ideally if you get clear seeing going , the self consciousness, the 'inner self' , the 'real me that nobody knows' ... and whether it's really beautiful or it really isn't the whole thing starts to become more transparent and less real. You can do those multiple questionaires all about me,me,me,me,me,me... what I want to be like, and you actually reinforce it. Then past self, present self, future self gets stronger. But if you do clear seeing , you see in the present there isn't really a real self the 'I was..' and the 'I will be' also become... There are a lot of guilt things like that 'I was... I shouldn't have done that... and you did it to me when I was ten years old ... that's coming from a very strong 'I was' and that's linked to a very strong 'I am'.
The clear seeing helps you to see that there's no 'I am' in the present at all. Body isn't really self. Feelings aren't really self. They are transitory, they are passing. Perceptions change all the time and aren't under control. The mind states just pass away like clouds. And the six sense doors do what they do and involving a 'self' in there is causing half of the suffering. Including a lot of the attachment to the 'I am' . 'Self-making' it's one of the causes feeding it all, reinforcing it all. And then you are going into 'I am beautiful, I am ugly...' the 'I am' bit which partly causes it whether it's true or not . Ria: 'How would you say people could deal with desires? Of say wanting to improve. Wanting to contribute, they are also desires. Still cravings. Bhante: 'Well, they can be intentions. That can just be an intention without craving . It planning. Like planning to do a recipe and then planning to do it step by step. It doesn't have to involve craving, just the more realistic it is the less craving is there, because it's based on reality. So, like the wish to... If you are setting it by 'who you are going to associate with' or 'who you are going to disassociate with' and for what reasons then you are setting up the conditions. It's just setting up the conditions , it's realistic. If you come and stay ed here for six months or \ something, things would probably get better. You can just assume it, you don't necessarily need to know precisely how. But your diet would be good, the air, it's just a kind of calculation without craving. Ria: 'Letting go of the 'have-to's. Bhante: 'And the wanting. 'I want to be!' 'I want to be better!' So that already is causing suffering.' Ria: 'And i think that is becoming a root of my restlessness, and lack of peace of mind. Because I want so much self-improvement. You always revert back to what you are used to. You will mess up once in a while, and I take it so badly... like I feel so guilty... and then I realise that you can have all those things without all the attachment, and making unecessary meanings out of things. ' Bhante: 'Like you were saying about stubborness, the more that you are fixed . When you are using will-power with ego , you can still use will-power but more flexibly without ego as well. Rather than it's like 'I'm going to get what I want and I'm not going to stop til I get those things' so that reinforces and it creates suffering. With more clear seeing... you can accept the unexpected... I wasn't expecting to pick up a fever this morning! You just accept conditions with so much imperfection in them and undesignedness in them that you are more flexible as things go along. '
Gigi: 'I'm one person who I live my questions and I told Bhante, this is an answer to a question that is from the universe. In the last two or three years I've seen myself. I had in mind 'You know how to deal with this' 'You've done a lot of exercises, you done a lot of enquiry...' but i said 'I miss home, I miss me'. One of the things I started doing was knowing or wanting to know the relationship between attachment and detachment because we are effected by that . Because we don't know about that, being attached and be in the situation and get out of it. I thought it was just attachment and detachment... it had craving and clouded peceptions ... the whole family. So this [ Dependent Origination] gave me some kind of anchor again. So vipassana does it. I knew I was attached because you can have conceptually in your mind 'You need to detach Gigi' but how do you do it? Because when you get confronted with the same situation again you get involved with the situation again and you are effected by it. Like it gave me a framework, maybe I wanted something like this drawn. ' Bhante: ' I find it's one of those background things ... it's a frame of reference. Everyone's got one or some that they picked up from books or from anything, from teachers or ... And your frame of reference is very important . Like I studied, and I've dropped it now .. or try to keep dropping it... sometimes it sneaks back in ... is astrology. The frames of reference from that...somebody says or does something and you go to frames of reference from that. ...' Ah, you are a Sagitarius with a Scorpio moon, or whatever it is. Actually the more I looked into it, I decided it isn't anything real and it isn't beneficial or useful. For me then that was under clouded perceptions then, because you start labelling and categorising people according to this bogus frame of reference.' Gigi: 'I think a part of the need to have this frame of reference is, I've been on this spiritual path... it's a little bit up in the air... but I am here, my body's here , my soul is here, this is where I am... It's as if I'm looking for practical spirituality and that's in a way .. I cannot engage... I cannot own something if I cannot engage in it. ' Bhante: ' This is something completely free of beliefs. It's only working with what is, and then you use the way things really happen as the thing that feeds you. It's not an imaginary ideal. So in that case it's very grounding and very practical. ' Gigi: 'Because it's easy to be there one day, and the next day you are confronted with something and you don't know what to do with it. You cannot go back and be lost and be blissful again. And yet you still have the same problem or the same thing you have to deal with. ' Bhante: ' That ultimate sort of detachment, from all the things, actually... because none of the things appear to be real in the end, it's just happening . Even you've got your selfperceptions... or your talking mind... that isn't really you, even that can be taken as awareness of hearing. Like if you've got your Inner Voice saying 'I'm really ugly' or so on,
note that as 'Awareness of hearing' and it's not real . But you take it as really real , the pain happens. This 'taking it for really real which isn't really real which is part of the cloudy perceptions. Amila: 'Can I make a suggestion? When I first discovered this a few years ago, um, seeing things through clear perception and through clouded perception... from the way it came to me was , this is when you associate with your thoughts, when you associate with what you have, when you associate with ...I don't know... what you are seen as, what you look like... ' Bhante: 'Identify with' Amila: 'Identify with something. This is standing back and seeing all of this happening. When you are here... so you are saying, 'How do I get here? [ ie, Clear Seeing ] When this is happening...' Imagine that this is a bad situation that's happening in your life. So, you've had this really great meditative state ...'Ah, nothing can bring me down... ' and then.. something happens to you and you you are confronted with the situation. The best way to get out of this and back to where you were for me, what I try , which may or may not work for you, is... I always take a very deep breath. By taking a deep breath I become aware of that breath inside my body. Thus I automaticly become aware of this situation that's happening right now. I am not this situation, this situation is not that person, this situation is just going to move and transform into something else. When you see it that way it's like watching a puppet show from on top of the theatre-box . You can see it happening, you are none of those puppets yet all of those puppets have really strong emotions and are telling a story but you are just watching it. You are The Watcher of this. As a Watcher you are in neutral state. That's what I feel anyway when I practice this. But it always has to start with a deep breath, because by breathing you breath awareness into your body. I am here. And you seperate yourself from all these thoughts. If it's internal conflict if it's external conflict. But in the same time this takes practice it doesn't just happen overnight. Over the last few years you know you are living like this because you are in agony, where you are in pain, you are in suffering and you know automaticly without all these emotions when you are in neutral you are more in this area [Clear Seeing] And then pleasant things happen as a side effect of that. But your focus shouldn't be 'Go for pleasure'.. like 'I'm just going to meditate for thousands of years because I never want to feel anything. It's knowing that 'You are not this' Bhante: 'You are talking about those very crippling conditional love, conditional relationships. Where someone is just binding you in... Amila: 'Yes.' Bhante: 'And just cruelly manipulating you ...
Amila: 'You are at the mercy of someone elses...however they want you to feel. Bhante: 'You are being emotionally blackmailed. The lifestyle that goes together with it all... the wisdom from this feeds the lifestyle. That's why it's a part of liberation. It is both dependence and independence. In a way, going round the world, doing what I am doing you are seeing all people as family, rather than creating a family. That comes from practicing metta. Loving kindness. If you see all people as sisters, all people as brothers. That actually helps you to be more dependent. So you trust in being taken care of. Like with going with the alms bowl . You trust that falling into life. It depends on the interconnectedness inside, and seeing that we are all like that, rather than making yourself an island and battling away to preserve your independence...and be all for me, for myself. What is really needed is metta. It's not that we don't need love. The world needs it. But the other kind of love which is totally dependent on... 'If you went I would be totally destroyed!' like that kind of conditional glue, and the manipulativeness that goes with it. The addiction on a single person as well. The more that would be able to develop metta the more we would be able to love more people, with less conditionalness. During practice time you are opening yourself to more and more types of people. That then becomes second nature... then you can bring that out to the world. You can love more people with less conditionalness. Rather than one, two or three people with total conditionalness. Also with compassion. Often there is no compassion going on, it's all like self indulgence, self-pleasure, it's all for us. The more you can open out to the painful ones, the more you can actually do something. Which is higher. You are able to see beyond boundaries and see beyond the 'I,Me,Mine' , the 'Us' and 'Our Group', and so on. Then open up and have that care for other peoples' pain and suffering. It works two ways. The more you are in that way the more you tend to attract good people around you, and therefore you tend to enjoy the better side of people. Which is what you want to associate with. Rather than you might want to associate with someone who is very cruel and aggressive because you believe you will be safer near them - a bully for example. But, no, it is better to associate with people who have much compassion.
As we come up for ending, I just want to remind about the Five Precepts. All of these are good frames of reference. You gradually build it up. Then you will have strong, crystalline structures to refer to. That also creates a stability and security of the mind. It's not a personal philosophy that you muddled up by yourself, it's something so ancient. It goes back two thousand five hundred years just to the current Buddha. He said there were twenty eight Buddhas before that always passed this on. So it's super-ancient. It pulls apart suffering, so it's a great protection because of that. The Sila , morality part of it is very key, very important. So cultivating those. Which is: 1 - Not to kill. 2 - Not to take what isn't given. 3 - To be prudent with sensuality. Which more or less means not to do adultery, and not to be cruel with sensuality and sexuality. 4 - The speeches - four kinds Not to be mis-informing or lying deliberately, knowingly.
Not to be spreading hate mail, or gossiping about people. Not to use harsh or vulgar speech. Not to use nonsense talking. 5 - Not to use drugs or alcohol. Because one thing leads to another. It's also a drain on resources, and in your healthas well. So that's a minimum recommendation for happiness and contentment. Even when you get a lot of people around you drinking at parties or going out. I think drinking is increasing more because of globalisation, where cheap wine can now be distributed easily. It used to be a rich person's thing. Wines and beers. Even in cultures where it didn't used to exist before very much. So, try and stay away from it. It's also glamourised more and more, and normalised. Dinner table drinking. ...... Do you think you'll be able to remember the way to do the meditations I've shown you so far? ' Amila: ' I actually listened to a vispassana meditation on my mobile phone this morning, and doing it..um... on my own... and also hearing it from a different, like a mirrored perspective. Sort of put everything together like 'Ahhhh!.... I get it! and I realise how powerful it is for this exactly. Yes. When we were sitting there I felt like I had to do something... I was, like, focussing so much... And what I realised was I wasn't supposed to do anything, I was just supposed to be aware. Right? So, this morning I was very aware... and I can't say I've ever done meditation like that... ever... anything like that. And today I feel specifically different. So I really do think it will be powerful something like this.' Gigi: 'It's nice it's drawn. It's graphic.' Amila: 'It really brings the story together.' Gigi: 'You can see the relationships. ' Bhante: 'With wooden sculptures it helps. A pig for clouded perceptions! The fever came up and then I'm glad it passed. That was a mini-lesson. They are all lessons. The Buddha talked about the Four Divine messengers. But ill people are one of them... or becoming ill . It's actually a wake up call in itself, it teaches you so much. Very young children are like a Divine Messenger, because you see how they need care, how they are totally dependent, how they are helpless. And elderly people. People also coming up to death, how fragile they are, and that we are all going there. We all come from there, we are all going to there as well. Also people who are arrested for crime, they are a Divine Messenger, as a warning to lead a good life.
So the whole thing is about leading a good life. That is what it comes down to. To avoid evil and to do good, and to know which is which. Practice wholesomeness. Internally doing too much can be driven, as you said, by clouded perceptions. It is like too much going on, rather than just stepping back, waiting, letting things come to you , seeing them as they are. Then living for a while. That clear space is kind of defragmenting your Hard Drive . You are just sort of 'not interfering' for a while. Just letting the senses carry on with awareness, the body carry on with awareness. Not be so preoccupied with 'I, Me, Mine' , and then do that frequently. I've got recordings of the guided meditations, both the Kasina Spheres and also Rising - Falling - Sitting - Touching It would be good to have that or link up on Facebook Bhante Ven Rakkhita Samanera
'Also do more of this! Making the time to come here again, on retreats , quiet places , there's lots of different ways lots of different places. But you are very welcome to come here again, I've enjoyed teaching you all ... Amila: 'I'll be back!..' Bhante: 'Please do' Gigi: 'Are you doing this regularly?' Bhante: 'Yes, once a month. Right the way to November and beyond... Daniw has been talking
about the last three days of the month doing a 'Bhante retreat'. Gigi: 'As this is a sort of introduction to Buddhism. Do you have some kind of series? ' Bhante: ' Couple of things. One is to do sitting more. And to an extent to start going into the books. Gigi: 'The books.' Bhante: 'The books... there's a lot of them. There's 84,000. And when you start going in there then you start needing to series it up because .. there's so much of it. But what I am trying to do is to give you the core material in a modernised way.' Gigi: 'Something to chew on.' Bhante: 'Yes. But just the core. Very simple elements at the centre of the teaching - which has taken me a long, long while to plough through a lot of that bookish stuff, and then see what are the common things, what are the most usable things. A lot of these are 're-reflection' things as well. [Dependent Origination] You can sit there and use this as a reflection meditation. And also to 'do' vipassanÄ is clearing as you do it. I used to be working on a twenty six day course where people would only do vipassanÄ , with almost no teachings as well. You would only do the doing, only sit noting, and rising and falling. Because they are about 'defragmenting the Hard Drive' , that in itself has that effect of clarifying the mind. So one thing is to understand why you are doing what you are doing, but then there is quite a bit of doing... time spent just listening to the breath, listening to the body observing the process and building up the periods of sitting. There are things like walking meditation as well. For me the first thing is to be clear why we are doing what we are doing. And then you can introduce more and more. More and more. Other elements, other stories that clarify things, anecdotes that clarify other things. And other meditations, there's forty Samatha meditations, we introduced on some of them. Developing the skills on them, Kasina is very difficult to do, it's quite hard to visualise those , it takes practice. It's like a piano, like learning piano scales.
So I'll close with a blessing for you By coming here and practicing like you are doing you are gaining a lot of merit. So we can share that with your families, your parents, and ancestors, and all beings... it can also be ancestors and relatives who have fallen into a low place and they can't do
anything about improving their kamma . By coming here, all this work , all these journeys, you are breaking these bonds, you are developing your own kamma. So you have come a long way already Perhaps people are still trapped in their clouded perceptions and attachments and so on . So it's sharing the light and your benefits out with the devas as well. This chant compares goodness like streams, that goes into the ocean... becomes one with the ocean and by practicing in this way your mind becomes brighter and clearer like a full moon. Because it's so bright your path becomes very clear and your wishes can be easily fulfilled. Wishes that are in harmony with the spiritual laws are easy to fulfill because they are wholesomely wished and the mind is very pure that is wishing for them Yathā vārivahā pūrā Paripūrenti sāgaraṃ Evameva ito dinnaṃ Petānaṃ upakappati Icchitaṃ patthitaṃ tumhaṃ Khippameva samijjhatu Sabbe pūrentu saṅkappā Cando paṇṇaraso yathā Maṇi jotiraso yathā. Just as rivers full of water fill the ocean full, Even so does that here given benefit the dead (the hungry shades). May whatever you wish or want quickly come to be, May all your aspirations be fulfilled, as the moon on the fifteenth (full moon) day, or as a radiant, bright gem. Sabbītiyo vivajjantu Sabba-rogo vinassatu Mā te bhavatvantarāyo Sukhī dīghāyuko bhava Abhivādana-sīlissa Niccaṃ vuḍḍhāpacāyino Cattāro dhammā vaḍḍhanti Āyu vaṇṇo sukhaṃ, balaṃ. May all distresses be averted, may every disease be destroyed, May there be no dangers for you, May you be happy & live long. For one of respectful nature who constantly honors the worthy, Four qualities increase: long life, beauty, happiness, strength.
"Bhavatu sabba-maṅgalaṃ..." Bhavatu sabba-maṅgalaṃ Rakkhantu sabba-devatā May there be every blessing. May all heavenly beings protect you. Sabba-buddhānubhāvena Sadā sotthī bhavantu te. Through the power of all the Buddhas, may you always be well.
Bhavatu sabba-maṅgalaṃ Rakkhantu sabba-devatā May there be every blessing. May all heavenly beings protect you. Sabba-dhammānubhāvena Sadā sotthī bhavantu te. Through the power of all the Dhammas, may you always be well. Bhavatu sabba-maṅgalaṃ Rakkhantu sabba-devatā May there be every blessing. May all heavenly beings protect you. Sabba-saṅghānubhāvena Sadā sotthī bhavantu te. Through the power of all the Saṅghas, may you always be well.
Bhante's retreats continue at Bahay Kalipay, Palawan, Philippines on a monthly basis June 20 2014